A Brief History of Standards and Standardization Organizations: A Chinese Perspective


Wang Ping

East-West Center Working Papers, Economics Series, No. 117


Honolulu: East-West Center

Publication Date: April 2011
Binding: paper
Pages: 25
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This paper reviews the history of standardization, from firm-level standardization at the early Industrial Revolution, to private standardization organizations and voluntary standards in the market economy, and national or international standardization organizations that emerged as a result of industrialization and international trade as well as their national or international standards. The paper examines the driving forces, principles and methodologies of standardization and addresses the position and role of technical standards and standardization organizations in the context of market economies. The author argues that standardization enables optimizing resource allocation in market economies and that standardization is the root cause of Adam Smith's "invisible hand". The paper proposes a strong relationship between innovative technologies and standards in the ICT industry and demonstrates that ICT standards are of strategic significance and have a great effect on the industry.