Invited by the National Board of Trade Sweden, on 16 June 2021, Dr. Betty Xu, director of the SESEC project, joined the webinar “China: regulations, standards, innovation and trade”. The purpose of the webinar was to increase the understanding of European companies of China’s regulatory system, and to discuss means to foster innovation and boost trade.


As one of the keynote speakers, Dr. Betty Xu compared the EU and China’s standardization systems, identifying the main challenges and opportunities that China’s system will bring to EU businesses. Specifically, she firstly outlined the unique Chinese standards system, which features a combination of government standards and market standards, each group featuring numerous types of standards. Then, Dr. Betty Xu indicated the similarities and differences of the system with its EU counterpart, including in the concept and usage of standards, operation mechanisms of standardization systems, organization and implementation of standardization work, as well as their participation modes in international standardization activities. Based on these analyses, Dr. Betty Xu pointed out the challenges facing European enterprises intending to enter the Chinese market – which include the high complexity of the standards system, the possibility of overlapping and duplication among standards, potential technical barriers to trade caused by association standards being adopted by government’s policies and regulations, and hence the high compliance costs. To address these challenges, Dr, Betty Xu provided the following advices from the perspective of standardization: (i) leveraging international standardization platforms to facilitate technical harmonization, (ii) paying attention to the development of association standards in China, especially those from cutting-edge technical areas, (iii) continuously urging China to deepen its standardization reform to ensure the fairness, openness, transparency of government standardization.


Experts from the Utrikespolitiska Institutet, CEN-CENELEC, and industry, attended the meeting and shared their insights on this topic.