【英语中国】全球技术标准中国(政府)造?

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2010-7-21 09:49

小艾摘要: Could future technological standards be driven by the Chinese Communist Party Politburo, as well as Steve Jobs?That's what Dieter Ernst appears to be predicting as an outcome of Beijing's growing ro ...
Could future technological standards be driven by the Chinese Communist Party Politburo, as well as Steve Jobs?

That's what Dieter Ernst appears to be predicting as an outcome of Beijing's growing role in shaping standards, ranging from the rules that govern how mobile phones operate to whether cribs can have foldable doors.

Ernst calls certification standards the 'underbelly of innovation.'

Standards are much in the news, as China pursues a policy called 'indigenous innovation,' essentially a certification regime that Beijing appears to hope will incubate technological developments.

Multinational companies are deeply frustrated by the Chinese indigenous innovation rules, since they appear designed to compel global businesses to develop and deploy their latest technology in China if they want to sell into the big market.

The risk of introducing technology to China, of course, is the limited protection of intellectual property, meaning inventors may not profit.

But the element of the indigenous innovation policy criticized by Ernst, a researcher at East-West Center in Honolulu, is how Beijing's bureaucracy is responsible for writing a catalog of approved products.

Any catalog, he says, is a lagging indicator of technological achievement. 'Such control lists focus on existing technologies, rather than on the future innovations that they are designed to promote,' he says in a newly published commentary.

Ernst, an economist who has written extensively on the internationalization of technology, says cataloging products is a reflection of Beijing's top-down, government-led policymaking - and he doubts a list will hatch innovation.

It may hold back Chinese companies, he said in the commentary, 'that seek to move beyond the status of fast-followers to become co-shapers of international standards.'

On paper, China has watered down its rules that sales to the government must go hand-in-hand with technology transfer. But increasingly vocal criticism of the regime by chieftains of companies like General Electric Co., BASF SE and Siemens AG, as well as surveys, suggests multinationals fear the policy hasn't gone away.

In a telephone interview, Ernst said his commentary precedes a soon-to-be-published report on China's standards policies, which will deal with how the country might upgrade its standards systems. Standards, he said, are a 'much undervalued critical element for innovation,' and ever-changing.

As China emerges, he added, there is a philosophical and practical inconsistency between the U.S.'s bottom-up, private-sector approach and China's top-down, government-led action.

'There's not going to be convergence,' he said. 'Once we can accept that, then we can find areas where we can cooperate.'

While Ernst sees 'persistent diversity' in global standards - from telecommunications and medicine to trains and toys - continuing, some areas may be prioritized for international cooperation, such as safety standards.

China, on some levels, has made efforts with the U.S. and European Union to collaborate on standards, particularly in product safety, where Beijing is eager to ensure its exports have markets.

But in a multitude of other areas, whether it is protocol governing Apple's new iPhone or bad drywall, the cooperation has been limited.

未来会出现技术标准由中共中央政治局和乔布斯(Steve Jobs)来推动的局面吗?

European Pressphoto Agency 对于像iPhone这样的产品,中国将在标准制定上扮演什么样的角色。恩斯特(Dieter Ernst)似乎预计这是一种必然结果。从移动电话的运营规则,到婴儿床是否应安可折叠门,北京在诸多技术标准的制定上正拥有越来越大的影响力。

恩斯特将认证标准称做是“创新的软肋”。

在中国推动一项被称做“本土创新”的政策之际,技术标准问题正频繁出现在新闻报道中。“本土创新”实际上是一种认证机制,北京似乎希望通过这一机制对国内的技术开发起到孵化作用。

跨国公司对中国有关本土创新的规定深感沮丧,因为这些规定似乎旨在让跨国公司明白,如果它们想在中国巨大的市场上出售产品,就必须在中国开发并运用其最先进的技术。

当然,由于中国对知识产权保护不力,将新技术引入中国是存在风险的,这种风险意味着投资者可能无利可图。

但美国檀香山东西中心(East-West Center)研究员恩斯特批评中国本土创新政策的着力点却是,中国政府的官僚作风导致了本土创新产品认可目录的产生。

他说,任何目录在反映技术成就方面都是一个滞后指标。恩斯特在新发表的一则评论中说,这类控制性名单关注的是那些已经存在的技术,而不是那些本应获得推动的未来创新。

恩斯特是一位在技术国际化方面撰写了大量文章的经济学家,给本土创新产品列目录的做法反映了北京由政府主导决策的思维模式,他怀疑这种做法能否推动创新。

他在评论中说,这一做法有可能拖中国企业的后腿,而这些企业正希望在国际标准方面从快速跟跑者成为共同制定者。

从表面上看,中国政府已经淡化了要求外国企业向中国政府出售产品时必须同时进行技术转让的规定。但通用电气(General Electric Co.)、巴斯夫(BASF SE)和西门子(Siemens AG)等公司老总们对这一机制日益响亮的批评声、以及针对西方企业的一系列调查都显示,跨国公司担心中国政府的这一政策并未取消。

恩斯特在接受电话采访时说,他在上述评论之后还将发表一份有关中国技术标准政策的报告,该报告将探讨中国如何能够改进其标准体系的问题。他说,标准是创新方面一个被严重低估的重要成分,它们永远在变化。

他还说,随着中国的崛起,美国那种自下而上、由民间主导的标准制定模式,和中国那种自上而下、由政府主导的标准制定模式,在理论和实践上都产生了矛盾。

恩斯特说,这两种模式不会互相融合,一旦我们能够认识到这一点,我们就能找到相互合作的领域。

虽然恩斯特认为,从电信到药品、火车和玩具,全球各种产品的标准制定都在继续呈现日益多样化的局面,但在某些标准的制定方面或许应该进行国际合作,比如安全标准。

中国某种程度上已在致力于和美国及欧盟共同制定标准,特别是在产品安全领域,中国急切希望其出口产品能符合海外市场的安全标准。

但在其他领域,比如苹果公司(Apple)新款iPhone手机和干墙产品的适用标准方面,中国与美欧的合作一直有限。

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