On 23 March 2021, SESEC held its webinar on China blockchain standardization. 51 representatives from European authorities, Standard Developing Organizations and enterprises registered.

Dr. Betty XU, the Director of SESEC Project, made a detailed introduction of China’s legal framework and standards system for blockchain. In China, the government views virtual currencies as illegal, since they are not issued by any recognized monetary institution, and do not hold any legal status that can make them equivalent to money. However, Dr. Betty Xu stressed that blockchain technology applications in other acceptable areas – as opposed to cryptocurrency – are widely welcomed and promoted in China, especially after President XI’s official endorsement of blockchain technology in October 2019. In general, there is no specific law on blockchain in China; the Measures for the Administration of Blockchain Information Service issued by Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) are the only regulatory document currently implemented.

At present, there is no national technical committee for blockchain under SAC. Three national standardization plans are developed by SAC/TC28 (National Technical Committee on Information Technology of the Standardization Administration of China). In May 2020, MIIT proposed to set up a national Blockchain TC under SAC, mirroring ISO/TC307, and with the secretariat hosted by CESI. The standards system on blockchain was formed in 2016 by the China Blockchain Technology and Industrial Development Forum (CBD-Forum), in its White Paper on the Development of Blockchain Technology and Application in China. According to the White Paper, blockchain standards are divided into five categories: (i) basic, (ii) business and application, (iii) processes and methods, (iv) trust and interoperability, and (v) information security; 21 key standardization directions were also initially identified. In addition, China also actively takes part in the development of international standards: for instance, on 9 June 2020, MIIT successfully proposed a new Work Item on financial distributed ledger technology application guide in ITU.

In conclusion, blockchain is relatively new in China. The legal basis and the administration of standardization still need improvement. At the same time, the official technical committee on blockchain still needs some time before being officially approved. SESEC will follow up the progress of regulations, standards and the establishment of technical committee on blockchain in China.

SESEC is going to hold more online events on hot topics. Looking forward to your participation!