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BFA Says IT Standards Need Repositioning

China should participate in the creation of international IT standards and refer to international standards when making its own, said delegates attending the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2004 at a meeting Saturday afternoon.


Chinese Minister of Information Industry Wang Xudong, delivered a speech on IT development in China and Asian IT cooperation at a special meeting held on Saturday afternoon at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2004. Japanese Minister of Information Technology Toshimitsu Motegi and representatives from Microsoft, UTStarcom, Sohu and Sina also delivered their viewpoints on IT standards and Asian cooperation.


Motegi said that it is necessary to enhance IT cooperation within Asia, including establishing common standards and platforms within the region. “Asia has strong competencies in digital products, but information flows are very poor.” He urged the holding of policy dialogues in order to establish concrete cooperation measures.


Standardization is a thorny problem for China, since developed countries have taken the lead in creating international standards. In Wireless LAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure (WAPI), for example, the China-made standard was opposed by Intel, Broadcom and others, and was delayed indefinitely after Sino-US negotiations in Washington on April 21.


Wu Ying, the CEO of UTStarcom (China), said that China should develop its own standards although it has much catching up to do.


“Standardization will bridge the gap between technology and productivity. It can facilitate trade, exchange and technology transfer, increase free competition in different markets and reduce R&D risk by participating in standards work.”


He used the V5 interface and SS7 standards as examples. Both significantly decreased the cost of fixed-line networks and substantially promoted China’s telephone penetration.


Technology innovation, said Wu, is the basis of standardization, as it requires and drives the standardization process. He urged Chinese enterprises to create standards in fields where they hold advantages.


Li Kaifu, vice president of Microsoft Corp., focused on the importance of IT and software in his presentation at the meeting. But at a seminar on Friday evening, he urged Chinese enterprises to participate actively in research and development on international standards.


“We need to segment the current standards,” Li said. “We should make full use of the mature industry standards. We should develop our own products according to the standards, and devote ourselves to taking the lead in technology application. For technologies with short life cycles, Microsoft will put its effort into research on the next generation industry standard.”


He stated that the Chinese market cannot be ignored when international standards are being developed, and China should refer to international standards when making its own. “All sides need further exchange when making standards.”


Other participants in the Friday seminar agreed that the feasibility of industry standards should be fully considered.


“A good standard should be recognized by enterprises in the industrial chain,” delegates said, adding that China has advantages in online games and SMS, and the development of related industry standards should be given priority.

(China.org.cn by staff reporter Tang Fuchun, April 25, 2004)

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