China’s Standardisation System – trends, implications and case studies in emerging technologies

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China is emerging as an influential player in worldwide standardization, which has several implications. This report reviews China’s evolving approach towards standardisation. It starts with an overview of the recent evolution of China’s approach to domestic standard-setting, to then examine its multi-bilateralist approach to standard-setting in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative. Moreover, the report includes two case studies: standardisation in 6G and in Artificial Intelligence, to identify the newest developments and probable future course of China’s approaches towards standard-setting of emerging digital technologies. Finally, the report discusses the implications of China’s evolving approaches and growing influence in regional and international standard-setting for European policymakers. European decision makers should grasp that China is no longer just a ‘technology taker’, but a ‘technology maker’ that is increasingly shaping the direction of international technological development, especially of applications. The increasing contributions by Chinese actors at the developmental frontier of technologies such as 6G and AI may require re-evaluating the role of China-Europe collaborations.

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Published On: April, 2022