Researchers have already begun working to tap the potential of 6G - the sixth generation of mobile communication technology - even though 5G is still several years away from large-scale commercial application, Miao Wei, minister of Industry and Information Technology, said on Friday.
"We have started research on the development of 6G from the end of last year or at the beginning of this year," Miao said on the sidelines of the ongoing first session of the 13th National People's Congress.
The move highlights China's eagerness to prepare for cutting-edge technologies as the country aims to gain a lead in the global race toward a fully internet-connected world.
"As mobile communication technology advances rapidly, it not only connects people with people, but links machines with machines as well as machines and humans. That is why we rush into the research on 6G. We want to prepare for such a world," Miao said.
On the subject of self-driving vehicles, another highly-anticipated application of technology, Miao said, "It would take a long time, such as eight to 10 years, before such cars are commercially used.
"Driving security is our primary consideration. If self-driving vehicles often run into technological troubles, it is impossible to promote such cars," Miao said.
According to Miao, a more pressing issue is the replacement of workers with robots.
"That is an inevitable trend. We must prepare for such a shift," Miao said.