The PRC’s Evolving Standards System: Institutions and Strategy
Chaoyi Zhao and John M. Graham
This research note examines the Chinese standards system, including its
management system and institutions, and the procedures for the development
of national standards. In addition, China’s technical standards development
strategy is covered at length, including its overall goals and methods of
- The core task of China’s technical standards development strategy is to
improve the adaptability and competitiveness of China’s technical standards,
taking China from a position of net importer of foreign developed
standards to an exporter of Chinese standards to the international market.
The official timeline calls for this reversal to occur before 2020.
- China’s current standards system consists of a vertical hierarchy of four
levels—national standards, trade standards, local standards, and enterprise
standards—as well as a horizontal array of complementary institutions.
- Private enterprise and the needs of the market will play a leading role in
improving and causing China’s standards to adapt to market conditions.
- In order to improve the competitiveness of Chinese standards in the
international market, independent technological content in standards will
be increased as China competes to produce more international standards.
- China’s new approach to standardization includes such goals as creating
an environment conducive to innovation, the large-scale adoption of
international standards, the creation of a system that ensures that standards
are responsive to the market, and the promotion of legal reform.