China's information security standardization: Analysis from the perspective of technical barriers to trade principles

Dong Hyu Kim, Heejin Lee, Jooyoung Kwak, Dongback Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


There have been many attempts for ICT standardization in China. Among them, this paper deals with information security standards. Although information security is often mentioned regarding China's ICT standardization, it has been rarely examined per se. While most studies on China's ICT standardization focus on economic aspects (e.g. increased bargaining power) or the government's role, this paper draws on legal aspects. We select WAPI and ZUC for case studies, and examine their legal aspects, particularly from the perspective of WTO's TBT (technical barriers to trade) principles. We have found that China's standardization strategy becomes international-bound and, in fact, the manner in which the Chinese government handles standardization projects has become refined, flexible, and communicative with foreign stakeholders. We see that the changes are responses to the trade concerns raised by foreign stakeholders in various TBT Committee meetings and bilateral meetings. In addition, the Chinese government appears to become market-oriented even in the field of information security where it previously maintained a rigid stance on the ground of national security. This paper points out that the changes are attributed to growing external pressure from foreign governments and firms as well as to internal efforts toward innovation based on indigenous technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-600
Number of pages9
JournalTelecommunications Policy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2011-330-H00002) and by Hansung University.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Communication
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Management Information Systems
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'China's information security standardization: Analysis from the perspective of technical barriers to trade principles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this