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From Lightbulbs to 5G, China Battles West for Control of Vital Technology Standards


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A plant in Changzhou, China, where workers assembled locomotives made in conformance with Chinese industrial standards.

To the consternation of many Western countries, China is employing state funding and political influence to try to define the standards for all manner of cutting-edge technologies that span telecommunications, electricity transmission, and artificial intelligence.

Credit: Shikang/SIPA Asia/Zuma Press

China is channeling state funding and political influence to wrest control of technical standards for cutting-edge technologies from the West, especially those reliant on 5G networks.

Chinese officials direct at least four global standards organizations; official documents estimate Beijing and regional governments supply annual stipends of up to 1 million yuan (roughly $155,000) for firms leading global standards development, while Western funding is dwindling.

Former Japanese trade minister Akira Amari warned of standards for data-gathering technology authored by China, with its history of data collection.

Amari said, "If Chinese products are set up to collect data, you have to work on the assumption that it will all end up with the Chinese government."

From The Wall Street Journal
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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