Background

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is accepting comments through Dec. 6 on China’s policies and influence in the development of international standards for emerging technologies. Recommendations on the actions the U.S. could take to mitigate any undue Chinese influence and bolster U.S. public and private sector participation in international standards-setting bodies are also sought.

NIST states that international standards allow products to be designed and produced at scale and used worldwide, which facilitates global trade. They also allow regulators and governments to improve trade policies and develop better regulations. However, there are concerns about the “China Standards 2035” project, which will lay out a blueprint for China’s government and leading technology companies to set global standards for emerging technologies in areas such as artificial intelligence and advanced communications technology.

In response, NIST is inviting comments on the following issues.

- China’s participation in international standards-setting organizations over the previous 10 years, including leadership roles in standards drafting technical committees, and the quality or value of that participation

- the extent to which China partners with foreign governments or multinational corporations to promote technical standards that may advantage Chinese companies, entities, or state objectives

- the effect of China’s standardization strategy on international bodies engaged in developing and setting standards for select emerging technologies, such as advanced communication technologies or cloud computing and cloud services

- whether international standards for select emerging technologies (e.g., electronics, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, blockchain and financial technologies, clean energy technologies, and quantum information technologies) are being designed to promote or favor China’s interests to the exclusion or disadvantage of other participants or in a way that may not result in the best technological solution

- how previous practices used by China while participating in international standards-setting organizations may foretell how China is likely to engage in international standardization activities of critical technologies and what may be the consequences

- how the U.S. can take steps to mitigate China’s influence and bolster U.S. public and private sector participation in international standards-setting bodies

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