- NBR - The National Bureau of Asian Research

China’s Technology Standards Policy: Implications for the U.S. and China

Bejing, China (2006)

In January 2006, NBR sponsored a bilateral workshop at Beijing’s Tsinghua University that featured papers both from Chinese and American researchers as well as critical comments from representatives of Chinese, American, and European companies and governments. Participants examined these issues through the lens of several case studies, including telecommunications and 3G, AVS and RFID, and WAPI and IGRN-Home networking.

Topics addressed included:

  • The growing importance of standards in the international political economy
  • China's evolving standards system
  • Standards development, IPR regimes, and anti-trust policies

The workshop, which was attended by some 60 participants, generated useful data concerning China’s standards system and standards initiatives as well as a range of views that provided essential background for the report “Standards of Power? Technology, Institutions, and Politics in the Development of China’s National Standards Strategy.”


Workshop Report

Event Agenda

Event Attendees


Baisheng An
Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China

Alison Birkett
Information Society, EU Mission Beijing

Kelsey Burns
Georgetown University

Shi-Ji Gao
Development Research Center of the State Council

Wen Gao
Chinese Academy of Sciences

D. Linda Garcia
Georgetown University

Ji Fusheng
Tsinghua University

Su Jun
Tsinghua University

Scott Kennedy
Indiana University

Chris Lanzit
Consortium on Standards & Conformity Assessment (China Office)

Rongping Mu
Chinese Academy of Sciences

Lester Ross
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr

Richard P. Suttmeier
University of Oregon

Alex Tan
Syracuse University

Chaoyi Zhao
China’s National Institution of Standardization

Key Findings

Costs, “techno-nationalism” driving policies: A desire to reduce “excessive” royalty fees, promote public interest, and enhance its capacity for innovation are considerations driving China’s move to promote indigenous standards.

Greater openness, diversity: Several unsuccessful efforts at standards development and the “globalization” of the makeup of competing groups have resulted in a more open, bottom-up, multi-standard approach.

International cooperation is key: Global integration and a convergence of interests between foreign and Chinese companies are increasing, and promotion of these trends is in the interest of all concerned.

Policy Implications

Focusing government’s role: China could better devote its time and limited resources to decreasing risk and encouraging private investment to encourage local innovation.

Globalizing participation: As national standards become increasingly obsolete, fully incorporating China will benefit the global standards community.

Looking beyond China: While China’s decisions will have immediate implications for global companies, further consequences may result from China’s advancements in other developing markets.

More Information on NBR's Related Research

Since the mid-1990s, The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) has been at the forefront of analyzing and researching China’s IPR regime and industrial policies, including technology standards, innovation policies, and intellectual property protection. Building on its comprehensive network of scholars, practitioners, and policymakers, NBR engages experts from the United States, China, and other countries to analyze these important issues and inform decisionmakers on the policy implications through high-level briefings, conferences, reports, workshops, and working papers.

Learn more about China's Strategies on Intellectual Property Rights, Technology Standards, and Innovation.