China’s recent efforts in standardisation and innovation have been noticed as part of an ambitious policy for indigenous technological development and implementation. While current literatures on standardisation have mainly focused on developed countries, this paper tries to shed some light on standardisation in developing countries, by examining the case of time division-synchronous code division multiple access (TD-SCDMA), a Chinese home-grown third generation (3G) wireless standard. Through an empirical examination of TD-SCDMA, this paper analyses China’s current standard policy and its relationship to China’s overall innovation policy and practices. It concludes that: first, standardisation has been an important part of China’s technology policy and has been used as a tool to stimulate and boost innovation; secondly, the Chinese government has played a crucial role in the successful establishment of this indigenous standard and thirdly, such indigenous standard has been used as a bargaining chip for China to nurture and develop its strategic industry.
Keywords: standardisation, innovation, technology policy, ICT industry, wireless standard, third generation, 3G, time division-synchronous code division multiple access, TD-SCDMA, technological innovation, technology management, innovation policy, information and communications technology, standard policy