China has outspent the United States on 5G infrastructure by "hundreds of billions of dollars," an industry expert said.

China's position as a leader in infrastructure provider for 5G - the next generation of high-speed mobile internet technology - has sparked debates in the United States and several other countries where the dominance of Huawei is seen as a security threat. The Trump administration blacklisted Huawei products in May but later temporarily allowed the Chinese tech giant to do business with U.S. companies.

“We are starting to see the separation of East and West on the roll-out of 5G. China is outspending the U.S. on 5G infrastructure by billions of dollars, hundreds of billions of dollars,” Rebecca Fannin, the founder of Silicon Dragon Ventures, told CNBC at the East Tech West conference in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China on Monday.

Deloitte reported in 2018 that Chinese spending on wireless technology infrastructure has surpassed that of the United States by about $24 billion since 2015. “Looking forward, China’s five-year economic plan specifies $400 billion in 5G-related investment. Consequently, China and other countries may be creating a 5G tsunami, making it near impossible to catch up,” the consultancy said.

China, meanwhile, has already moved on to the next phase, focusing on research efforts for 6G, the next generation of mobile data technology.

China was the first country to have a nationwide rollout of 5G network support, gaining a definite lead over the United States. The rest of the world is expected to have full 5G support by 2020.