ZTE, one of the major equipment providers in the world, announced last week that it would double its R&D expenditure on 5G from this year to reach 2 billion yuan ($295 million), up from 1 billion yuan in 2016.
ZTE said the enhanced investment aims to help realize the target of commercializing the 5G network in China by 2020, according to a Sina news report.
Currently about 3,000 ZTE employees are working on 5G R&D, said the Chinese company, which declined to comment whether it is planning to add more headcount.
Total spending on 5G development in China is estimated to rise to 1.65 trillion yuan by 2025, a recent research paper by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China said.
As the international standards on 5G -- which aims to unify jobs and enable a seamlessly connected society -- have yet been determined, both ZTE and Huawei are spending generously on R&D for a favorable position in setting the rules.
ZTE's 2 billion spending on 5G is equivalent to roughly 2 percent of its group sales every year.
Huawei previously said that it has poured $600 million since it started 5G R&D in 2009.
In February, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and 3GPP said 5G characteristics and requirements standards on speeds, spectrum, and latency are all due to be decided later this year.