China’s Technology Standards Policy
Implications for the U.S. and China
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.”
Featured Speakers and Panelists
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
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.
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.