On 2 December 2020, MIIT began to solicit public opinions on the Plan for the Establishment of the ” Commercial Cryptography Application Standardisation Promotion Working Group “. According to MIIT’s notice, the aim of the Working Group will be to promote the standardisation of commercial cryptography and its applications in the information and communication technology industry. Specifically, the business scope of the Working Group will include:
- Carrying out research on the standardisation requirements of commercial cryptography and applications in the information and communication technology industry;
- Formulating standardisation plans, systems and policies; revising standards; and technical management;
- Organising and conducting standards experimental verification, publicity and implementation training;
- Promoting international standardisation work.
According to the personnel scheme drafted by MIIT, nearly all the directors or deputy directors of the Working Group will come from government agencies (MIIT and the State Cryptography Administration); its secretariat will be located within the China Academy of Industrial Internet/the Research Center of Cryptography Application of MIIT; while its member units will be research institutions, universities and large enterprises in China.
The China Academy of Industrial Internet is a public institution established on 1 November 2018 under MIIT. It is mainly responsible for planning and formulating development strategies and policies, and for conducting research on standards relating to industrial Internet. Moreover, the China Academy of Industrial Internet also contributes to the establishment of networks, platforms and security system, as well as to the promotion of international exchanges and cooperation.
In addition, in order to support the implementation of the Cryptography Law of the People’s Republic of China, on 19 January 2020 MIIT also established the Cryptography Application Research Center, namely a deployment organisation located within the China Academy of Industrial Internet, aimed at promoting cryptography applications and innovation in the information and communication industry.
The efforts to establish the “Cryptography Commercialisation Promotion Standards Working Group” reflect the government-led approach underpinning China’s cryptography standardisation work – together with a general lack of participation from foreign companies. The future collaboration in carrying out cryptography standardisation work between the Working Group and the Cryptography Standardisation Technical Committee (i.e. a major pillar of China’s current cryptography standardisation work) will also need further observation.