Xiaomi and ZTE led the gains among Chinese telecom equipment makers in Hong Kong and the mainland after Shenzhen became the first city to be covered by the fifth-generation (5G) networks in the nation. Xiaomi, China’s biggest smartphone maker, jumped 5.6 per cent to HK$16.20 on Monday, capping the biggest gain in almost six weeks. ZTE added 4 per cent to HK$23.30 and its Shenzhen-traded stock rallied 4.9 per cent to 40.25 yuan. China Tower also rose in Hong Kong. Fuelling the buying interest in the 5G sector was the comment made by Shenzhen mayor Chen Rugui at a press conference on Monday morning that the city now has access to the pure 5G networks. That was interpreted by traders as a sign that Shenzhen has officially entered the 5G era and construction of the new networks will be accelerated in rest of the country. A gauge tracking 5G-related stocks trading on the mainland's exchanges climbed 1.9 per cent on Monday, according to data provider Shanghai DZH. Progress on the development of domestic 5G network is vital to sustain the run-up in the sector at a time when the US is cutting off technology exports to Huawei Technologies, China’s biggest telecom equipment maker. The UK too has said that it will ban Huawei from its new mobile-phone networks . “The upward tech cycle brought by 5G will probably last for between two and three years,” said Chen Ping, a fund manager at HSBC Jintrust Fund Management in Shanghai. “For the TMT [telecom media and technology] sector, you can make money from earnings growth and even from valuation expansion. In the long run, technology is the sector that can beat the broader market.” Xiaomi also rose on the news that it will join the benchmark Hang Seng Index starting September 7 along with Alibaba Group Holding and Wuxi Biologics. The Hang Seng gauge added 0.7 per cent on Monday. China Mobile had 70.2 million 5G users by the end of June and the number of subscribers will probably exceed 100 million this year, according to Pacific Securities. The mobile-phone carrier has already set up 188,000 5G base stations in over 50 cities and will build another 350,000 this year, the brokerage said. China Mobile rose by as much as 1.3 per cent before closing little changed at HK$58.60 and China Tower, which builds telecom towers, gained 1.4 per cent to HK$1.47.