For several years, China has been the major development center for smartphones, audio speakers and markets. However, most of these products are not designed in Chinese styles but specified by more developed countries. However, Beijing tries to work on this and it seems like it is now stepping in the driver’s seat when new tech requirements for the future are being decided. Let us see how it goes about.
Reckoning with a 5G force
Ever wonder why, considering the different types of devices available, you can still rely on finding a USB reader to download data? The solution is simple: business industry standards.
To be sure, specifications are established and maintained to promote activity and interoperability across cities, countries and continents. But it’s easy to see that those who have a say in developing these standards, gather surmounting profit. Consider the benefits brought to Google and the value of its Android operating system, which runs on more than 70% of smartphones worldwide.
The 5G version searches for the same heft from the Chinese firms. To make its intentions clear, China has established its ‘China Standards 2035‘, a global domination policy in new and developing sectors, such as AI and 5G. And it reinforces the dialogue with solid statistics.
The largest number of 5G Patents awarded or applied for is owned by Chinese firms led by Huawei. While Donald Trump tried to overtake China’s lead by blacklisting several chinese companies, experts said that the likes of Huawei could end up receiving royalty from their American opponents, if they retain their patent advantage.
But standard setting is not a one-way street and there are benchmarks that can be determined by the contributions from many players – market leaders, organisations, industry associations etc. The domination of patents is thus just one side of the coin, market observers claim, because everything ultimately narrows down to the patents which are central to commercial success.
The creation of USB as a standard
The USB Implementers Forum, a non-profit headquartered in the United States, sets the USB port standards. Five of the founding partners are American companies, including Intel and IBM. Multiple tools of all kinds were used to connect different ports before USB was put into standard circulation. The organizations who worked together on the USB connector decided to create a standard protocol to replace the various alternatives that hindered interoperability. Although it was first introduced in 1996, the USB only became popular when Apple made it the only connector on its iMac in 1998, leading other manufacturers to follow suit, and it is now the standard connector on a wide range of devices.
But, why does the west fear this new upstart by China?
Although the United States’ approach to standard-setting remains predominantly autonomous and market-driven, the Chinese government is making a concerted attempt to assist its industries. In addition, as western dominance in standards organizations has waned, almost twice as many Chinese members now occupy secretariat positions in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and other organizations than a decade earlier. At least four global standards organizations are headed by Chinese officials, and the ISO’s top spot was occupied by a Chinese official from 2015 to 2017.
China’s efforts in the past and present
China was compelled to follow expectations set by others during the tech bubble of the 1990s and early 2000s. Between 2003 and 2004, China introduced WAPI, a new wireless LAN standard to compete with WiFi, but it was thwarted by American and European authorities.
China is also taking a more aggressive role in proposing new standards, claiming that it is merely doing what the West has done in the past by attempting to overturn the current system and benefiting from one that is tailored toward its own businesses.
A brewing cold war
The United States has long been concerned about China’s rising economic and military strength, describing it as “techno-authoritarian.” Despite the fact that relations between Europe and the United States have worsened in recent years, Europe remains squarely in the American camp. China, on the other hand, has made inroads in Europe by investing in infrastructure, particularly in eastern and southern Europe.
Is China a genuine threat?
According to some experts, Western suspicions of China stem from a deep mistrust of US-China relations. They argue that China lacks the power and capital to fully outperform the United States. And if the planet is divided into two software stacks, businesses must collaborate to maintain compatibility in order to prosper.
Where does India stand in this power battle?
India isn’t particularly influential in the ongoing cold war, but considering the scale of its economy, it will play a critical role if the world divides into American and Chinese blocs. India is generally aligned with the United States and the European Union, and it offers a host of critical IT services to western businesses. Affordability, domestic manufacturing expansion, and security issues will all be major driving forces as it develops its 5G strategy.
However, a parliamentary panel recently stated that India’s 5G deployment is behind schedule, citing the fact that the 2022 deadline is rapidly approaching and the government has yet to auction the 5G spectrum. Seven years after its global debut in 2008, 4G was introduced in India, and the country cannot afford to lose out on the far-reaching opportunities that 5G is supposed to offer.