China Moves to Improve Domestic, International Standards Across Industries

July 11, 2022

China on Friday published an action plan to improve domestic standards across industries while increasing its participation in international standard-setting, from smart cities to food safety.

The plan details the tasks to be undertaken before the end of 2023 to realize a national standardization development outline published in October, which set out China’s ambitions in setting technical standards.

The State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) and 15 other regulators and central government agencies will implement the initiatives, according to the action plan published on the SAMR’s official website.

The plan covered a wide range of domestic industries, as well as setting out tasks to help achieve broader goals such as China’s net-zero emissions plan and better prevention of major epidemics and terrorism attacks.

Beijing also wants China to have a major voice when international standards are set in industries from automobiles and technology to packaging and biotech.

The plan called for international professional standards organizations to be supported in settling in China, and said foreign enterprises’ ability to participate in standard-setting within China should also be protected.

A European Union Chamber of Commerce report last year found unequal access to policy and standards drafting processes was a key complaint within the auto sector about operating in China.

Five of the 33 tasks listed in the action plan were focused on international standard-setting.

One called for China to actively participate in the strategic planning and governance of international organizations such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency.

Another said China should work on developing international standards in industries where Chinese companies already have a strong overseas presence, such as cross-border e-commerce and digital finance.

The tasks were also aimed at strengthening the connectivity of standards within China’s Belt & Road infrastructure initiative, and increasing the compatibility of Chinese and international standard-setting systems.

(Reporting by Eduardo Baptista; Editing by Jan Harvey)

Topics China

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