The founder of Lenovo, Liu Chuanzhi, has released a heartfelt public statement to put across his side of the story amid an increasingly tense public backlash against the Chinese computer manufacturer. The coming to light of Lenovo voting at a 5G standards setting meeting in 2016 for a technology led by US firm Qualcomm when a Huawei alternative was available, has triggered heated questioning of the firm’s allegiances. The vote in question was only for part of one standard and became viral after being posted on Chinese Q&A platform Zhihu on May 9.

The world of 5G standard setting is highly complex. Here we attempt to explain what happened as context to the subsequent public reaction.

In the second half of 2016, the body that decides global standards for mobile data, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), held three meetings which included agreeing on a particular standard, the Enhanced Mobile Broadband coding scheme. This comes in two parts—the data channel and the control channel. At the first meeting, three technologies were proposed: LDPC led by Qualcomm, Huawei’s Polar Code and Turbo led by LG/NEC. 

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Frank Hersey

Frank Hersey is a Beijing-based tech reporter who's been coming to China since 2001. He tries to go beyond the headlines to explain the context and impact of developments in China's tech sector. Get in...