Global China Conversations #27

The Future of Technological Standards: Germany and China in Competition?

07 Dec 2023


The future of the global economy will be significantly shaped by competition for technology standards. China's influence in setting global technology standards has become a significant factor. China is increasing its presence within various international bodies and playing a decisive role in shaping standards for pioneering technologies. The "China Standards 2035" plan is key in promoting Chinese standards along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 

Germany also maintains close cooperation with China in the field of technology standardisation, especially within the framework of Industry 4.0 technologies. These partnership efforts are evident in joint standardisation proposals and strengthen China's position in international standardisation bodies. However, this collaboration also presents challenges and controversies, especially regarding the compatibility of the liberal market system with China's state-led, authoritarian economic model. 

In GCC #27, we therefore wish to discuss the following questions: How does China use standardisation as a strategic instrument, and what possible European responses are conceivable? How is the cooperation between Germany and China in the field of technology standardisation structured? How is the competition for establishing standards expected to develop, and what impacts could arise for globally operating companies? How does the trade conflict between China and the US affect technical standards and European companies? What measures could be taken to find a balanced balance between the different economic models and standardisation approaches?


The event consists of different impulse lectures followed by a discussion.  

The Global China Conversation #27 will be held in German. 


The impulse lectures refer to the following publications: 

Fuchs, Daniel/Eaton, Sarah (2022): “Diffusion of Practice: The Curious Case of the Sino-German Technical Standardization Partnership”, in New Political Economy 27 (6), 958-971 

Fuchs, Daniel (2024): “Technische Standards & globale Ungleichheit: Chinas Aufstieg zur Normungsweltmacht”, in Veit, Alex/Fuchs, Daniel (eds.): Eine gerechte Weltwirtschaftsordnung? Die »New International Economic Order« und die Zukunft der Süd-Nord-Beziehungen. Bielefeld: Transcript, 275-298. 


Katja Krüger 

Katja Krüger is the Head of Government Relations at DIN, the national standardisation organisation of Germany. DIN is a member of the European standardisation organisation CEN and the international standardisation organisation ISO. The position entails managing relations with national, European, and international political decision-makers. Before joining DIN's Government Relations department in 2017, Katja Krüger worked as a research assistant for two members of the German Bundestag. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication Management from Hochschule Osnabrück and a Master's in Media and Political Communication from the Free University of Berlin. 

Daniel Fuchs 

Daniel Fuchs is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Asian and African Studies, Humboldt University of Berlin. He earned his PhD in Development Studies from SOAS, University of London, focusing on migrant labour unrest during industrial relocation in Southwestern China. Prior to his current position, he worked at SOAS, the University of London, and the University of Göttingen. Mr. Fuchs has co-edited and co-translated several publications on Chinese labour issues and received the "Albie Award" in 2020 for his research on a Sino-German technical standardisation partnership with co-author Sarah Eaton. He is currently working on a research project analysing China’s increasing influence on international technical standardisation. 


Amelie Richter 

Amelie Richter is a journalist and sinologist, focusing on EU-China-relations in particular in her work for the China.Table. Before the China.Table, Richter was working for the German Press Agency in Australia, Mexico and Straßburg. She is currently based in Paris.