Standards : a hidden tool in chinese economics strategy

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Olivier PEYRAT

Managing director, AFNOR

Seminar Management of Innovation | Wednesday March 21, 2012 - 8h45 - 10h45

The emergence of China as a world power has been accompanied by its very marked strategy to influence the international standard setting process. In encouraging both bilateral partnerships and multilateral approaches, Chinese standardisation bodies go to great lengths to close the gap which exists today between China’s economic rank and the level of responsibilities which China is given in the framework of ISO (International Organization for Standardization) technical committees. Nevertheless, according to a German proverb, ‘Whoever sets the standard makes the market’. China understands this proverb well and has applied it to its domestic market. It realises that its market is largely inaccessible to foreign companies because of the large numbers of standards which are applied there, the difficulty of knowing the nature of the standards and the margin for interpretation of the standards. In this context, what normative strategies, or strategies of co-operation or confrontation are available to Western governments ?

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This session was published in issue n°98 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled La clairvoyance.

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