Mobile phones are seen on display at an electronics market in Shanghai, China, June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Aly Song

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SHANGHAI, Jan 14 (Reuters) – China’s shipments of smartphones compatible with 5G networks rose 63.5% to 266 million last year as falling prices boosted demand, a government-think tank said on Friday.

5G smartphone shipments accounted for 75.9% of domestic shipments, higher than a global average of 40.7%, the China Academy of Information and Communications (CAICT) announced via WeChat.

It said buying of 5G smartphones had been encouraged by the price of such handsets falling below 1,000 yuan ($157.69).

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By the end of November, the total number of smartphone subscribers of China’s top three telecom companies reached 1.64 billion, of which 497 million were connected to 5G smartphone terminals, up 298 million from a year earlier, the CAICT said.

The country’s top three telecom firms are China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom.

($1 = 6.3415 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; editing by Jason Neely

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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