China recently turned on 5G in 20 cities, South Korea is on track for 90% national 5G coverage by year's end.
Other countries are well back, even hardly started, with their 5G rollout; in part due to the US led concern with (1) China's Huawei company, that holds many 5G patents, and (2) fact US companies are increasingly out of the telecom hardware loop.
Note: South Korea providers used a combo of Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia equipment except for LG, which used Huawei.
While east Asia, particularly China and South Korea, leading in tech, especially in mobile, is nothing new what is interesting for telecom going forward is that China has officially committed to developing a successor 6G despite not knowing what it might entail.
The east Asia tech tilt is increasing. While the US remains the world's leading economic powerhouse the future has been slip slipping away since the 70s with Japan and now China with a side order of South Korea...
China is setting up supportive blocs what with infrastructure loans/building in Africa, the Belt and Road Initiative in Asia, and inclusion in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) emerging economies group of nations.
Need to order in more popcorn.