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China’s next plan to dominate international tech standards

Emily de La Bruyere


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Emily de La Bruyere is co-founder of Horizon Advisory, a strategy consultancy focused on documenting the military, fiscal, and technological implications of China’s approach to world tournament.

Nathan Picarsic


Nathan Picarsic is co-founder of Horizon Advisory, a strategy consultancy focused on documenting the military, financial, and technological implications of China’s approach to world competitor.

SpaceX has restricted usage of Zoom for remote enterprises. So have Google, Apple, NASA, and New York City schools. Earlier this week, the FBI advised about Zoom teleconferences and live classrooms being hacked by trolls; security professionals warn that defects in the technology make user data vulnerable to exploitation. Zoom’s CEO, Eric Yuan, has the coming week publicly admitted that he “messed up” on privacy and security.

Maybe we shouldn’t consume Zoom after all

But we are missing a larger question as we grapple with Zoom’s security shortcoming. Who controls the platform? Who be able to use it? Zoom received its seed fund from TSVC, which represents a a Los Altos-based venture capital firm but endows with the financial resources of a Chinese State-owned Enterprise, Tsinghua Holdings. Founded and run by a Chinese industrialist, Zoom’s mainline app is developed by China-based subsidiaries. Zoom servers in China appear likewise to be manufacturing its AES-1 28 encryption keys, including, as a Citizen Labs report reports, some be useful for rallies among North American participants. Beijing’s privacy ordinances likely pressure China-manufactured keys to be shared with Chinese authorities.

Zoom is precisely the kind of tool that Beijing importances. The Chinese Communist Party( CCP) haunts a decades-long grand strategy to develop and capture world-wide systems and scaffolds- with them to define world standards. Hold over standards promises standing button of international resources, exchange, and message; a world geopolitical operating system with coercive might. Beijing has officially endorsed this ambition since its 2001 accession to the wto, when it propelled the National Standardization Strategy.

Now, the CCP is putting that goal into action. Beijing is about to launch China Standards 2035, an industrial plan to write international rules. China Standards 2035 is the successor to Made in China 2025; an even bolder plan for the precede decade premised not on reigning where world-wide goods are made, but on locate service standards that define production, exchange, and uptake.

Beijing accomplished two years of planning for China Standards 2035 at the beginning of March. The final strategy document is projected to be issued this year. While the specifics of China Standards 2035 have yet to be published, the intent- and focus areas- are already evident. The National Standardization Committee has released its preliminary report for its first year onward, the “Main Points of National Standardization Work in 2020. ”

Our firm, Horizon Advisory, has altered and analyzed that report– and the past two years of planning that informed it. We find in it instructions to “seize the opportunity” that COVID-1 9 generates by proliferating China’s authoritarian information regime; to co-opt world industry by catch the industrial Internet of Things; to define the next generation of information technology and biotechnology infrastructures; to export the social recognition plan- and Beijing’s larger litany of incentive-shaping pulpits. We find an precise global ambition that weaponizes exchange, fund, and cooperation processes.

As Beijing pictures it, the world is on the verge of transformation. “Industry, technology, and invention are developing rapidly, ” explained Dai Hong, Director of the Second Department of Industrial Standards of China’s National Standardization Management Committee in 2018. “Global technical standards are still being assembled. This concessions China’s industry and standards the opportunity to surpass the world’s.”

Dai was speaking at the opening session of China Standards 2035 ’s planning phase. He was indicated that the design would focus on “integrated circuits, virtual reality, smart-alecky health and retirement, 5G key components, the Internet of Things, information technology equipment interconnection, and solar photovoltaics.” Throughout, the emphasis would be on “internationalization” of Chinese standards.

Two year later, China Standards 2035 ’s initial experiment results reveal the concrete inferences of those buzzwords. China Standards 2035 is to focus on setting standards in emerging industries: high-end equipment manufacturing, unmanned vehicles, additive manufacturing, new fabrics, the industrial internet, cyber protection, brand-new energy, the environmental industry. These align with the focus areas of the Strategic Emerging Manufacture initiative — also of Made in China 2025. Having stuck its foothold in targeted physical circles, Beijing is ready to define their rules.

DJI has a near monopoly over business hum methods. The National Standardization Administration is now intent on “formulating the international standards for’ Classification of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems’ to help the domestic drone industry occupy the technical requirement heights.’”

Second, China Standards 2035 will accelerate Beijing’s proliferation of the virtual organisations underlying, and connecting, those industries: the social recognition organization, the State-controlled National Transportation Logistics Platform( known as LOGINK ), and medical and customer good standards.

The plan’s third prong is internationalization. The Main Points outline the intent to “give full play to the organizational and coordinating roles of the Chinese National Committees of the International Standards Organization( ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission( IEC ). ” Reports from the National Standardization Committee explain that holding “full play” makes mold “strategies, programs, and rules.” Beijing is to bolster internationalization through bilateral and regional standards-based partnerships- partnerships like China and Nepal’s standardization cooperation agreement, ASEAN’s standards docking, and nascent attempts with Germany, the United Kingdom, and Canada, among others.

China’s standards contrive stanches from a clear, deliberate strategic advancement. Beijing has spent the past two decades establishing influential footholds in multilateral bodies and targeted industrial areas. Now, it is using those footholds to set their rules- with them, to define the infrastructure of the future world. Harmonizing to China’s strategic planning, this is what power means in a globalized era: “The tactical play among big powers is no longer limited to market scale competition or that for technological advantage. It is more about challenger over arrangement designing and rule-making.”

But no one appears to be noticing China’s strategic positioning. Not much pops up when you Google China Standards 2035. That was a serious deficit before COVID-1 9’s world-wide adversity. The stakes are higher now. Global shutdown has created what the CCP calls an opportunity to accelerate its strategic offensive. Our lock-down persuasion trust on virtual contacts has offered Beijing an extraordinary slant in.

As we grapple with the COVID-1 9 tragedy, we need also to resist Beijing’s exploitation of it. We need to recognize the role of standards and the manner in which the CCP weaponizes them. We need to compete for alternative, safe , norm-based ones- and protect them from Beijing’s influence. Or we need to get used to security, privacy, ownership, discretion concerns far more serious than trolls at Zoom happy hour.

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