Plenary Meeting of the National Intelligent Manufacturing Standardisation Coordination and Promotion Group, Expert Advisory Group, and Administration Group Held in Beijing


On 11 September 2020, the National Intelligence Manufacturing Standardisation Coordination and Promotion Group, Expert Advisory Group, Administration Group, held the plenary meeting in Beijing.

During the meeting, the requests and needs of the Chinese government for standardisation work in the field of intelligent manufacturing were illustrated in detail by Tian Shihong, leader of the Coordination and Promotion Group and administrator of the Standardisation Administration of China (SAC), and by Xin Guobin, the vice minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. These are:

  • Improve the system guarantee mechanism;
  • Revise and modify the Guidelines for the Establishment of the National Intelligent Manufacturing Standards System;
  • Accelerate research on standards;
  • Further promote the application of standards;
  • Formulate and optimise performance evaluation indicators for the development of intelligent manufacturing;
  • Extend international cooperation.

You Zheng, the leader of the Expert Advisory Group, illustrated the Expert Advisory Group Work Report, which mainly summarises five major tasks undertaken by the group, specifically:

  • Improvement of the organisation mechanisms of the Expert Advisory Group;
  • Guiding of the revision of the Guidelines for the Establishment of the National Intelligent Manufacturing Standards System;
  • Continuous support to intelligent manufacturing comprehensive standardisation projects;

You Zheng also pointed out that the Expert Advisory Group will continue to work on the basis of the Specifications on the National Intelligent Manufacturing Standardisation Group, specifically by providing advices to the Coordination and Promotion Group on the standardisation plan, system and policies in the field of intelligent manufacturing; by providing technical guidance to the Administrative Group; and by engaging in and promoting the research, formulation, divulgation, implementation and application of domestic and international standards in the field of intelligent manufacturing.

Zhao Bo, the leader of the Administrative Group and of the China Electronics Standardisation Institute (CESI), illustrated the Administrative Group Work Report, which mainly highlights four major achievements made by the group since 2016, including the establishment and optimisation of standardisation top-level planning; as well as the divulgation, implementation and promotion of standards. Zhao Bo also highlighted key existing challenges, and provided recommendations for the revision of the Guidelines for the Establishment of the National Intelligent Manufacturing Standards System and for the establishment of an intelligent manufacturing standards system specific for each industry sector.

In addition, during the meeting officials from SAMR/SAC announced the new composition of the National Intelligent Manufacturing Standardisation Coordination and Promotion Group, Expert Advisory Group and Administration Group, specifying their responsibilities and configuration. They also provided an overview of the following content:

  • Working System of the National Intelligent Manufacturing Standardisation Expert Advisory Group (Revised Draft);
  • Charter of the National Intelligent Manufacturing Standardisation Administrative Group (Revised Draft);
  • Procedures for Intelligent Manufacturing Standardisation Projects (Revised Draft);
  • Progress of the establishment of the intelligent manufacturing standards system for the shipbuilding industry, the building materials industry, and the petrochemical industry.

Finally, the officials also discussed on the Guidelines for the Establishment of the National Intelligent Manufacturing Standards System (2021 Edition) (Draft) and on the Work Plan for the Pilot Application of Intelligent Manufacturing Standards (Draft).


Origional news:

China Standardisation Development Annual Report (2019) released


On 9 September 2020, the Standardisation Administration of China (SAC) released the China Standardisation Development Annual Report (2019). The report is a flagship publication that every year reviews and summarises the key takeaways from China’s standardisation work.

In particular, the report illustrates that, in 2019, China achieved the following key results:

  • Released 2,021 national standards;
  • Prepared and established 41 national professional standardisation technology organisations – including one dedicated to blockchain;
  • Filed 4,880 new industry standards and 7,238 local standards;
  • Added 6,227 association standards;
  • Added an additional 55,962 self-declared enterprise standards, bringing the total number of self-declared enterprise standards released to over 370,000.

In terms of deepening the standardisation reform, in 2019 China further integrated and streamlined mandatory standards. In particular, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Transport, and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, have proactively promoted the integration and revision of mandatory national standards to support the policy of “Three Inspections in One” for road vehicles. Recommended national standards were also further optimised, by adopting strict approval procedures which led to an increase of the project rejection rate of recommended national standards to 52%. Association standards also developed rapidly, with more than 12,000 association standards released by more than 3,000 social organisations, covering areas such as smart transportation, sharing economy, and elderly care services. Enterprise standards were also further invigorated through the deep implementation of the enterprise standards ‘top runner’ scheme, which in 2019 selected 315 enterprise standards from 245 companies. Finally, in 2019 China also actively promoted the comprehensive reform of local standardisation: Shanxi, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and other provinces refined 11 standards, including on regional coordination, which can be replicated and promoted on a wider scale; 8 regional coordination standards were also released for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, while Hainan, Zhengzhou and Yiwu explored and actively promoted city-centred standardisation innovation.


In terms of the construction of standards systems, in 2019 China achieved remarkable results especially in (i) agricultural and rural standardisation work, and (ii) food quality and safety:

  • For the agricultural and rural standards system, China introduced a new era of top-level design of standardisation; it issued and implemented 113 national standards for various fields, including agricultural input quality safety assurance, animal and plant disease prevention and control, and agricultural product quality classification; and focused on establishing a comprehensive, whole-chain, multi-layer and modern agricultural standards system.
  • For the food quality and safety standards system, China continued to promote the establishment of a national food quality and safety standards system; it comprehensively carried out the clearance and streamlining of national food quality standards, it promoted the upgrading of manufacturing standards, and promoted the establishment of new industrial standards systems.

In addition, in 2019 China vigorously promoted the standardisation of elderly care services and domestic service industry; formulated national standards for urban rail transit facilities and operations; promoted the establishment of a standards system for national ecological pilot sites; promoted the standardisation of pilots projects on community-level government; summarised successful experiences in standardisation that can be replicated and promoted on a wider scale, gained from sectors such as construction of ‘beautiful towns and villages’, rural property rights transfer, new urbanisation, urban-industrial integration, etc.


Furthermore, the Report also indicates that China in 2019 further enhanced the functions of the National Standards Full Text Disclosure System, disclosing 1,804 standards. An information service platform for industry standards and local standards was established; while the international standards information platform, the China-Europe and the China-Germany standardisation platforms achieved effective linkages with other international and foreign standards such as ISO, IEC, German, French, and Spanish standards. The National Public Service Platform for Standard Information provided more than 180 national and industry standards from Kazakhstan, Russia, Sweden and other countries. The National Standard Implementation Feedback Platform was put into operation, while the National Standard Formulation and Revision System was also introduced – featuring a mechanism for collecting and processing feedback on standards implementation. Linkages were also established to connect standardisation work with law enforcement, inspections, and quality management, so to contribute to standards formulation and information-sharing. Moreover, China further improved evaluation methods for the effectiveness of implementation of national standards, and successfully evaluated a set of key standards in the field of engineered wood and cosmetics – thus providing direct evidence for the revision of relevant standards. Finally, the number of legal persons and other organisations in the Unified Social Credit Code Database exceeded 100 million for the first time – reaching 101.92 million, an increase of 26.75% from 2018; the registration coverage was further expanded, covering more than 30 types of institutions. The national commodity database was also strengthened, with the total amount of data entries in the database exceeding 100 million and ranking first in the world.


For the Chinese version of the report, please visit

China Mobile’s Performance Shows the Enormous Power Consumption of 5G Network


On 13 August 2020, China Mobile published its performance report for the first half of 2020. During this period, the operating costs of the company increased drastically by 10.7 billion RMB, an astonishing increase partly resulted from increased power consumption of its 5G base stations.

According to various analysts, one single 5G base station needs two to three times more the electricity used by one 4G base station; one interviewee from China Tower revealed that the cost of electricity for operating 100,000 5G base stations is estimated at around 2 billion RMB each year. Indeed, according to data released by China Mobile, the telecom giant had established 188,000 5G base stations by the end of June 2020, from which it can be calculated that the electricity costs of its 5G base stations accounted to around 4 billion RMB.

This enormous power consumption of 5G base stations may in part explain why China Mobile has been reluctant to deploy rapidly its 5G network. By comparison, around 700,000 4G base stations were established by China Mobile alone in the first year of construction of the 4G network – confirming that the progress of 5G network is significantly slower compared to its predecessor. It is noteworthy that, by July 2020, a total of around 400,000 5G base stations had been established by China’s three major telecom operators (China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom).

In addition to expensive operating costs, the costs for the construction of the 5G network are also much higher compared to its predecessor: 5G base stations have a smaller coverage than 4G base stations, thus requiring a much higher density which cannot be achieved by only upgrading existing stations. As if it were not enough, the wireless download speed of 5G base stations is one hundred times as much as that of 4G base stations, therefore the existing optical fibre transmission network cannot support the 5G network unless it is strengthened or rebuilt – which is way more difficult and costly.

For these reasons, the progress of deployment of the 5G network has been below the expectations. Even if China’s three major telecom operators achieve the goal of building 600,000 5G base stations by the end of 2020, the scale of the network will still be much smaller than that achieved by China Mobile in the first year of the 4G network. It does not come as a surprise, therefore, that the establishment of a 5G network with nation-wide coverage is projected to take another three to five years.

TC28’s Subcommittee 42 on Artificial Intelligence Established in Beijing


On 6 August 2020, the kick-off meeting and first plenary meeting of the Subcommittee 42 on Artificial Intelligence of SAC’s National Technical Committee 28 on Information Technology (SAC/TC28 SC42), was held in Beijing. More than 70 experts from various artificial intelligence (AI) fields, including production, education, research, and application, attended the meeting in person; they were joined by 300 other experts who participated via online platforms.

SAC/TC28 SC42, as the mirror committee of ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 42, is mainly responsible for the development and revision of AI-related standards, which cover AI basics, technology, risk management, trustworthiness, governance, products and applications. During the meeting, a general working group was established; four research groups were also established for models and algorithms, chips and systems, products and services, and trustworthiness.

The charter of the subcommittee and its work plan were also reviewed. In 2020, the main activities of SAC/TC28 SC42 will be to:

  • Improve organisational building and management, including the establishment of an e-mail account where public comments on the working group will be received; as well as the finalisation of the Subcommittee’s online platform, logo, and procedures for recruiting members;
  • Continue research and development of AI standards, especially on AI graph and framework. Initiate proposals for standards on AI evaluation models
  • Complete research on new infrastructure, and finalise the first draft of the research report by December 2020;
  • Strengthen international cooperation, particularly with ISO and IEC. Accelerate the conversion of national standards into international standards.

By Haley WU on 27 August

National Energy Administration of China: Guiding Opinions on Accelerating the Establishment of New Standard Systems for Energy


On 24 June 2020, the National Energy Administration (NEA) published a call for comments on the Guiding Opinions on Accelerating the Establishment of New Standard Systems for Energy, which were jointly formulated with the Standardisation Administration of China (SAC). SESEC’s summary of the key highlights of the document are:

Objectives of the reform:

  • Clearly define the role of the government and of the market in energy standardisation, and specifically the scope of the standards led by the government and that of standards led by the market;
  • Determine the scope, boundaries and levels of new energy standard systems, based on science as well as on the industrial development and standardisation progress of sectors including electricity, nuclear power, coal, oil gas, new energy and renewable energy, and electric devices; efforts to constantly improve these standard systems should be made.

Standard Systems:

Mandatory standards for the energy sector should be confined to those areas affecting people’s health, personal and property safety, national security, and ecological and environmental security, as well as to those areas relating to the basic requirements of socio-economic management. Specifically, standards that fall into these categories mainly include standards for electrical safety, petroleum products, environmental protection that involves energy, energy efficiency, energy consumption quotas per unit of product, and engineering construction.

Recommended standards should highlight their public-welfare nature. Recommended national standards can, in general, be classified into three types:

  • Basic generic standards that stipulate terminology, graphic symbols, classification and coding for energy and other industries;
  • Testing methods and measurement standards that are complementary to mandatory standards and that contribute to their actual implementation;
  • Standards that play a leading role in their corresponding industries.

Association standards should continue to be led by the market, with the focus on raising competitiveness. The future development of association standards should put strong emphasis on new technologies, sectors, modes and models of energy, in harmony with the implementation of national and sectoral standards.

Based on the clarified scopes of national, sectoral and association standards, the definition of each standard level should also be set in a scientific manner. The boundaries of generic basic standards and of standards for products, services, technology and management, should be properly defined, thus contributing to the shaping of a clear standard system which also meets the needs for international standardisation exchange and cooperation.

Management of standards:

In order to give full play to market forces, the number of newly-released energy sectoral standards should be limited by (i) expanding the coverage of each standard, and (ii) facilitating the serialisation of standards. In sectors such as electricity, coal, oil gas and electrical devices, further efforts should be made for the coordination, integration and optimisation of recommended national standards with sectoral standards for energy.

The selection of the most appropriate association standards should rely on market competition. This entails research to establish an effective mechanism for the conversion of association standards into national or sectoral standards. Besides, a complaint and reporting mechanism for association standards should also be built, according to which an evaluation of good practices can be conducted by the administrative bodies for energy standardisations established by NEA and all relevant standardisation technical committees (TCs).

Development of standards:

The priority for the establishment of new standard systems for energy should be put on emerging sectors, such as intelligent energy, the Internet of Energy, wind power, solar power, biomass energy, energy storage, and hydrogen energy.

In principle, the establishment and management of standardisation TCs, as well as the formulation of standard development and revision plans, should be carried out on the basis of the energy standard systems.

Coordination of work:

Energy standardisation TCs should be responsible for the establishment of national standard systems and sectoral standard systems for energy, as well as for the design and maintenance of standard system diagrams. In case of contradictions emerging during the establishment of energy standard systems, such as overlaps among the scopes of work of various TCs or administrative bodies, these should be adjusted and coordinated for the former by administrative bodies for energy standardisation, and for the latter by NEA and SAC.

Social organisations that develop association standards should comply with relevant regulations, keep standard systems coordinated and unified, and ensure that association standards are aligned with national and sectoral energy standards.

Information Disclosure:

Constant efforts should be made to facilitate the disclosure of information on recommended national standards and sectoral standards for energy, adhering to the principle that ‘publication is the norm, non-disclosure is the exception’. Based on the needs of their work, energy standardisation technical organisations should disclose, in a timely manner, information and diagrams of the energy standard systems on relevant standardisation information platforms, and organise divulgation services.

In general, the Guiding Opinions on Accelerating the Establishment of New Standard Systems for Energy reflect the implementation of the standardisation reform specifically in the energy field. The document sets a clear definition of the role and relationships of all levels of energy standards, and outlines the needs for executing and coordinating standardisation work among all actors involved. At the same time, the document also suggests that the government still holds prominent control over the standardisation work in the energy field. For example, the development of association standards should be carried out under the standard systems designed by the government, should align with government standards, and should be subject to government-led performance evaluation. Finally, although the disclosure of information is a requirement clearly highlighted in the document, the specific requirements of information disclosure remain vague: this may potentially result in difficulties for enforcement, or worse in apparently but not essentially public information.


Guidelines for the Establishment of the New Generation of Artificial Intelligence Standards System Released by SAC, CAC, NDRC, MOST and MIIT in China


On 4 August 2020, the Standardisation Administration of China (SAC), the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), jointly issued the Guidelines for the Establishment of the New Generation of Artificial Intelligence Standards System.

The document outlines a two-stage strategy to be achieved by the national artificial intelligence (AI) standards system, namely:

  • By 2021:
    • Clarify the top-level design nature of AI standardisation;
    • Research general rules for the establishment of the AI standards system and for the development of standards;
    • Clarify the relationship between standards;
    • Complete the pre-research of more than 20 key standards, especially on critical general and AI technologies, as well as AI ethics.
  • By 2023:
    • Complete the preliminary establishment of the AI standards system;
    • Focus on the development of urgently needed standards such as data, algorithms, systems and service, and promote their application in various industries such as manufacturing, transports, finance, public security, housing, elderly care, environmental protection, education, healthcare, and justice;
    • Establish a test and verification platform for AI standards, thus increasing the provision of public services.

Framework of China AI standards

According to the Guidelines, the national AI standards system framework will consist of eight parts: (i) basics; (ii) supporting technologies and products; (iii) hardware and software platforms; (iv) critical and generic technologies; (v) critical AI technologies; (vi) products and services; (vii) industrial application; and (viii) security and ethics. Previously in 2018, the China Electronics Standardisation Institute (CESI) had released the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence Standardisation (2018), which proposed a framework of China’s AI standards system that covered the status of AI technology, industry and standardisation both in China and abroad (Figure 1).

However, although the White Paper was developed under the overall guidance of SAC, it was still seen as a report from a professional standardisation institute, rather than from a state agency, and as such it could only be used as a general reference for the development of AI standards. The newly-released Guidelines for the Construction of a New Generation of Artificial Intelligence Standards System, developed by five key central regulators, overcome this issue: the new framework proposed is a significant improvement and refinement of the version previously proposed by CESI (Figure 2).

China AI standards

The Guidelines provide definitions for all kinds of AI standards, and illustrate the key points for their development according to the two-stage strategy for the establishment of the AI standards system. In the annex, the Guidelines provide a detailed list of the development directions and priorities of 63 kinds of AI standards, focusing on technology, industry application and security. However, no lists of standards already issued, currently under research or under planning, is provided in the Guidelines.

The Chinese version of the Guidelines for the Construction of a New Generation of Artificial Intelligence Standards System can be accessed, for free, at this link:

By Haley WU on 25 August

Draft Data Security Law of the People’s Republic of China Released for Public Comments


On 2 July 2020, the full text of the draft Data Security Law of the People’s Republic of China was released online for public comments. The draft law features a total of 51 articles, divided in seven chapters: (i) general rules; (ii) data security and development; (iii) data security systems; (iv) obligations for data security protection; (v) government data security and openness; (vi) legal liability; and (vii) supplementary provisions.

The draft Data Security Law marks the elevation of data security to national security level. Together with the Cybersecurity Law (which entered into force in 2017) and with which complementarities will constantly be sought, the draft Data Security Law can be seen as integral part of China’s concept of national security and as a supporting regulation of the National Security Law, and as such it has significant implications.

It is also noteworthy that Art. 49 of the draft law stipulates that all data activities involving personal information must abide by the provisions of relevant laws and administrative regulations: this leaves room in the future for the introduction and convergence with the Personal Information Protection Law in China. According to various analyses, it is expected that the formal implementation of the Cybersecurity Law, the Data Security Law and the Personal Information Protection Law will significantly contribute to the development of China’s digital economy, from the dimensions of network, data and personal data.

Support to the promotion of data security and development:

The aim of the draft Data Security Law is to ensure the security of data throughout various data development and utilisation activities as well as overall industrial development. Chapter II of the draft law outlines various principles and support that China will give to such activities.

In particular, Art. 17 stipulates that China will establish and improve the management system for data transactions, giving legitimate legal status to data transactions and selling activities. Among these, it is expected that three key existing standards will become an important reference to promote data transactions: “Information Security Technology Data Trading Service Security Requirements” (GB/T 37932-2019); “Information Technology Data Trading Service Platform Common Function Requirements” (GB/T 37728-2019); and “Information Technology Data Trading Service Platform Transaction Data Description” (GB/T 36343-2018).

Data security systems:

Data security is at the very heart of the draft law. According to Art. 3, data security refers to the capability to ensure that data is effectively protected and used in accordance with the law, and that data remains in a safe state thanks to the adoption of necessary measures. These include, as outlined by Art. 4, the total adherence to the concept of national security, the establishment and improvement of governance systems, and capacity-building.

The specific responsibilities of data security management and supervision are outlined by Art. 6 and Art. 7. In particular, decision-making and coordination of data security work will be the responsibility of central national security leadership bodies, which will also supervise lower-level departments; the responsibilities of regions and departments will be limited to the data, aggregated data, processed data, and the security of data generated through their own activities and work – therefore covering the entire process from data generation to processing. The responsibilities of component authorities for the investigation and punishment of misconducts and violations are outlined in Chapter VI of the draft.

With respect to ex ante data protection, Art. 19 requires a classification and grade-based approach to data security. Unlike the Data Security Management Measures (Draft for Comments) issued in May 2019, the draft Data Security Law does not provide a clear definition of the scope of ‘important data’ protection, but leaves it to all relevant regions and departments based on specific catalogues formulated by them in accordance with national provisions. As ‘important data’ involves national security, the delegation of its protection to regions and departments has sparked heated debate, also in view of potential discrepancies and conflicts among important data protection catalogues of different regions and departments. How these concerns will be addressed remains to be clarified.

The draft Data Security Law also stipulates that China will establish centralised, unified and authoritative mechanisms for data security risk assessment, reporting, information sharing, monitoring and rapid alert; and that it will strengthen the acquisition, analysis, research and rapid alert of data security risk information. Moreover, a data security review system will be established to conduct national security reviews of data activities that affect or may affect national security, so to increase risk prevention.

With respect to ex post emergency response, Art. 21 stipulates that China will establish an ad hoc mechanism for the emergency handling of data security. In the event of a data security incident, the relevant competent department shall activate emergency response plans in accordance with the law, take corresponding emergency measures to eliminate safety hazards, prevent their further expansion, and timely inform the public if potentially affected.

In the context of cross-border data flows, the draft law stipulates that China will have the right to implement export control measures over data that falls into the category of “controlled items”, namely items relating to the fulfilment of international obligations and the safeguarding of national security. When an overseas law enforcement agency requests the collection of data stored in the territory of the People’s Republic of China, relevant departments and individuals may share it only after having obtained prior approval. In addition, the draft Law allows China to adopt countermeasures against discriminatory measures taken by other countries pertaining to data and data utilisation technologies in connection to trade and investment activities.

Finally, it is noteworthy that although the provisions stipulated by the draft apply to the collection, storage, processing, use, provision, trading and disclosure of data conducted within the territory of the People’s Republic of China, they also allow China to conduct investigations for legal liability on any organisation and individual outside the territory of the People’s Republic of China whose data activities harm China’s national security, public interests, or the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and organisations . Though certainly presenting differences, this is in line with “long arm jurisdiction” provisions stipulated e.g. in the EU’s GDPR (“any act involving the processing of EU personal data, can be governed”); indeed, some observers argue that China’s scope of application of the draft Data Security Law is a response to similar EU and US practices.

The data security obligations of different subjects:

In addition to strong centralised supervision, the establishment of China’s data security governance system also needs to rely on self-management and inter-agency cooperation. Chapters IV, V VI of the draft outline the data security obligations and security measures for different subjects carrying out data activities, and stipulate corresponding legal liabilities.

However, the current draft of the Data Security Law still lacks specific provisions for practical implementation. Issues such as the division of ‘important data’ boundaries, as well as the establishment of systems for data security, data transaction, and cross-border data flows, will still need to be clarified. Nevertheless, the publication of the draft Data Security Law reflects China’s determination and confidence in regulating and optimising the legal system for data security in support to the digital economy.

By Charlotte on 18 August 2020

Overview of China’s Energy Conservation Policies and Measures


China is constantly exploring new ways and paths for energy conservation in order to achieve green development. Over the past few years, numerous energy conservation policies and measures have been formulated and implemented at all levels throughout the country, promoting energy conservation in a variety of fields such as industry, construction, transportation, public institutions and residential buildings.

China’s energy conservation policies and measures mainly focus on seven aspects: (i) improving overall planning and target management; (ii) improving laws, regulations and standard systems; (iii) raising public awareness and organising the National Energy Conservation Week; (iv) promoting policy and market mechanisms; (v) facilitating R&D and dissemination of technologies; (vi) improving the management of key energy users; and (vii) participating in international energy efficiency cooperation.


  1. Improving overall planning and target management

Since the 11th Five-year Plan (2006-2010), China has set up clear national targets for energy conservation to be achieved over each Five-year period. For instance, for the 13th Five-year Plan, the overall targets for energy conservation include a 15% drop by 2020 in national energy consumption per 10,000 CNY of GDP compared with 2015, and less than 5 billion tons of standard coal of total energy consumption. It has also made significant efforts to improve overall work management and planning by formulating the Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction Comprehensive Work Plan, which allocates detailed tasks to specific levels, regions, sectors and key energy users, and introduced a Target Responsibility Evaluation mechanism to evaluate the work of all levels of government and key energy users.


  1. Improving laws, regulations and standard systems

In China, the major national law for energy conservation is the Energy Conservation Law, which was first enacted in November 1997, and then reviewed in 2007, 2016 and 2018. The Law stipulates the overall principles for energy conservation in areas including industry, construction, transportation, public institutions and key energy users. A series of supporting regulations have also been formulated and/or reviewed by the central government to facilitate the implementation of the Law, including: the formulation and revision of the Administrative Measures for Energy Efficiency Labels and the Administrative Measures for Energy Conservation of Key Energy Users; and the formulation of the Measures for Energy Conservation Supervision and the Measures for Energy Conservation Review of Fixed Asset Investment Projects.

As for China’s energy conservation standard system, there currently exist 340 national standards – 200 of which are mandatory – covering all key sectors and facilities. Standardisation efforts continue to be made in order to support and meet the growing demand for energy conservation: for instance, the development of standards for energy conservation is listed among the key priorities of MIIT’s Key Work Points for the Standardisation of Industry and Communication Technology in 2020.


  1. Raising public awareness and organising the National Energy Conservation Week
  • Organisation of ten energy conservation campaigns

In 2008, The State Council announced ten energy conservation campaigns to increase public awareness of energy conservation:

  • Experience energy shortage;
  • Drive one less day per week;
  • Restrict indoor temperature and reduce the use of elevators;
  • Restrict the use of streetlight and landscape lighting;
  • Use energy conservation products;
  • Use environment-friendly products;
  • Reduce the use of disposable items;
  • Wear casual clothes during official businesses in summer;
  • Foster energy conservation habits;
  • Promote energy conservation policies.

These campaigns have been implemented successfully throughout the decade, and some have even become integral part of the daily lives of Chinese people.

  • National Energy Conservation Week

The National Energy Conservation Week was created in 1990 during the sixth meeting of the State Council’s energy conservation office, with the objective to raise public awareness of energy conservation. Since 1991, the activity has been held every year, gradually growing into a flagship nationwide campaign organised by 14 national ministries, including NDRC, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the Ministry of Education, MIIT, etc. For each annual edition of the Energy Conservation Week, a specific theme is chosen that best serves the need at the time for energy conservation, with various activities held nationwide.

In 2020, the 30th National Energy Conservation Week was held from 29 June to 5 July, with the main theme being “save energy and increase efficiency for lucid waters and lush mountains”. Numerous activities were organised to showcase and disseminate energy conservation concepts, knowledge, products and technologies, and to promote public energy conservation and consumption of green products.


  1. Promoting policy and market mechanisms
  • Market mechanisms

In China, market mechanisms have constantly been improved to provide more effective support to energy conservation. Policies and measures in this regard include:

  • Favouring price, tax and financing policies supporting energy conservation, e.g.: the introduction of a price-based resource tax on coal; the transformation of environmental protection fees into taxes; differential and punitive electricity prices; tiered pricing for electricity for energy-intensive industries and enterprises; etc.;
  • Establishment of certification systems for energy conservation products, such as the Energy Conservation Certification;
  • Launch of the Energy Efficiency “Top Runner” Program, under which detailed lists of energy-efficient products, enterprises and public institutions are selected and published to represent key benchmarks for energy conservation, and to incentivise others to follow;
  • Reimbursable use of energy rights and pilot energy right trading;
  • Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) model, an investment model by which the cost of energy conservation projects can be reimbursed by saved energy costs.


  • Government tax relief and financial support

In China, government tax relief and financial support has always played a vital role to stimulate individuals and enterprises to reduce the use of energy. The following policies and measures have been implemented in this regard by the Chinese government:

  • Preferential VAT policies, such as VAT exemptions or refunds;
  • Corporate Income Tax (CIT) incentives, such as CIT deduction for special equipment for energy and water conservation, and CIT reliefs for energy and water conservation projects, EPC projects, and the Clean Development Fund;
  • Individual Income Tax incentives, such as Individual Income Tax exemptions for energy conservation awards;
  • Vehicle and boat tax incentives, such as vehicle and boat tax exemptions and deduction for electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles and new energy vehicles;
  • Interim Measures on Special Management of the Central Budgetary Investment in Ecological Development, which specifies the central government’s financial support for major projects in resource conservation and cyclic utilisation, environmental pollution control, and the energy conservation and environmental protection industry.


  1. Promoting R&D and dissemination of technologies

In order to provide a technological foundation for China’s energy conservation efforts, numerous policies and measures have been formulated and widely adopted to encourage the R&D and dissemination of energy conservation technologies. Some examples include:

  • R&D: organisation and execution of commercialisation/industrialisation projects for key energy conservation technologies; facilitation of R&D and commercialisation/industrialisation of emerging energy conservation technologies and equipment; and promotion of the integrated application of energy conservation systems.
  • Dissemination: establishment of a market-oriented green technology innovation system; collection from the public of proposals for advanced green technologies; appraisement and selection of the first batch of green technologies; and facilitation of R&D, transfer and promotion of green technologies in response to market demands.

Relevant policy documents recently issued by the National Development and Reform Commission include:

  • The Green Industry Guidance Catalogue (2019 edition), in February 2019;
  • The Guiding Opinions on Establishing of a Market-oriented Green Technology Innovation System, in April 2019;
  • The Notice on the Organisation of Green Technology Recommendation, in June 2020; and
  • The Notice on the Establishment of the Green Industry Demonstration Base, in July 2020.

It is also noteworthy that after China joined the Mission Innovation initiative in 2015, a global initiative of 24 countries and the European Commission working to reinvigorate and accelerate global clean energy innovation, China committed to double its investment in clean energy research and innovation by 2020. To this end, it has significantly supported R&D investment in clean energy through National Key R&D Programmes (also called Megaprojects). Fifteen out of 64 currently-existing National Key R&D Programmes (NKPs) are dedicated (fully or partially) to R&D in clean energy, including projects for new energy vehicles, highly-efficient development and utilisation of water resources, magnetic confinement fusion, smart power grid technologies and green building.


  1. Improving the management of key energy users

The management of key energy users is of great significance for raising overall energy efficiency and for controlling energy consumption levels. In this regard, a series of policies and measures have been rolled out by China, including:

  • Identification and mapping of key energy users;
  • Allocation to specific key energy users of “double control” targets, i.e. control of both quantity and intensity of total energy consumption;
  • Promotion of a voluntary commitment system calling for energy users to participate voluntarily and meet certain energy conservation requirements. The list of enterprises who have fulfilled the commitment will be disclosed publicly;
  • Requirement for key energy users to submit periodic reports on energy consumption;
  • Appointment of responsible person for energy management in key energy users;
  • Establishment of an online energy consumption monitoring system for key energy users.


  1. Participating in international energy efficiency cooperation

China has become increasingly active in international energy efficiency cooperation. A flagship initiative is the G20 Energy Efficiency Leading Programme (EELP) approved in 2016 during the G20 Hangzhou Summit. The programme, which is mainly led by the Chinese government, outlines long-term targets, cooperation principles and fields, as well as implementation mechanisms for energy conservation in all G20 countries. The key priority fields listed in the programme include: means of transportation (especially heavy trucks); interconnected equipment; energy efficiency financing; construction; energy management; power generation and super-efficient equipment; TOPTENs (top ten energy efficiency technologies and top ten implementations); regional energy systems; frameworks for sharing energy efficiency knowledge; terminal energy consumption data; and measurement of energy efficiency. The programme reflects China’s “go global” policy as well as its growing influence in international cooperation on energy efficiency.

In addition, since China’s participation in the Mission Innovation initiative from 2015, China has been a very active player in international cooperation on clean energy research. The two main channels through which the Chinese government supports international cooperation in clean energy research are intergovernmental cooperation NKPs which open to universities, research institutes and enterprises, and the establishment of joint research partnerships or facilities between Chinese public institutions and foreign governments or institutions.


In conclusion, China has formulated and implemented, at all levels, a wide range of energy conservation policies and measures. These represent a solid proof of China’s determination and commitment to shift towards a green country. Such efforts are expected to be continued and even intensified in the future to achieve more ambitious energy conservation targets, a stricter Target Responsibility Evaluation mechanism, to substantially improve energy conservation in key fields, and to divulgate and raise more widely energy conservation awareness.

NMPA Publishes the 2019 Annual Report on the Management of Standards for Medical Devices in China


On 8 July 2020, the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) published, on its official website, the 2019 Annual Report on the Management of Standards for Medical Devices in China. Based on substantial statistics and data, the report provides a comprehensive review of the status of formulation, development and management of China’s standards for medical devices, as well as the establishment of related standardisation organisations, the achievements in international standardisation, and the disclosure of standard information.

In particular, the report shares the following key points and figures:

Medical Device Standards

  • Overall developments of 2019

In 2019, 5 new national standards and 72 new sectoral standards were released for medical devices, while amendments were published for 3 existing sectoral standards. This brings the total of medical device standards currently existing in China to 1,671.






At the same time, 99 of the medical device standard formulation and revision projects listed in the 13th Five-year Plan (2016-2020) were completed in 2019 – six of which being national standards, and the remaining being sectoral standards. This brings the total number of 13th Five-year Plan standardisation projects completed to 447 out of 500 (89%).







  • Steady growth of standards

During the 10th Five-Year period (2001-2005), the 11th Five-Year period (2006-2010) and the 12th Five-Year period (2011-2015), China respectively formulated 292, 553 and 476 medical device standards. During the four years since the beginning of the 13th Five-year period (2016-2019) and with still one year left, the number of medical devices standards released has already exceeded previous figures: 561. This signals a steady growth of medical device standards in China, driven by the need to establish a medical device standard system that can meet and support the country’s rising demands for medical device regulation and industrial development.








  • More reasonable classification of standards

By the end of 2019, among the existing effective medical device standards, there were 273 basic standards, 54 management standards, 406 method standards and 938 product standards.








This is reflected in a significant growth of basic standards and reduction of product standards on the total medical device standards in China, compared to the previous year.








  • More comprehensive standard coverage

Medical device standards cover various technical fields of medical devices, including medical electrical equipment, surgical devices, and surgical implants.

According to the Chinese Classification for Standards (CCS), medical device standards mainly fall under the fields represented by codes between C30 and C49. In particular, C30 refers to comprehensive medical device standards, while the other codes mostly refer to specific product fields. The five fields that account for the highest proportion of the existing medical device standards are: C44 medical laboratory equipment (13.8%), C31 general and micro-surgical devices (11.6%), C35 orthopaedic devices (10.8%), C33 dental devices, equipment and materials (9.8%), and C43 medical ray equipment (9.1%).









If sorted according to the fields that different standardisation committees account for, the five fields with the highest number of standards are: medical electrical devices (339 standards, 20%), IVD (243, 15%), surgical implants (209, 13%), dental materials and devices (163, 10%), and infusion devices (148, 9%). Due to different specific requirements, the composition of standards in each management field may vary significantly:

  • In the fields of medical electrical equipment and anaesthetic and respiratory devices, basic standards account for a relatively high proportion, both reaching 29%;
  • The fields of medical device standard management and quality management have the highest proportion of management standards – 100% and 85.7% respectively;
  • The highest proportion of method standards is found in the field of biological evaluation of medical devices, reaching 90.2%;
  • The highest proportion of product standards is found in the fields of family planning and IVD devices – 86.2% and 86% respectively.










  • Continued efforts to convert mandatory standards into recommended standards

By the end of 2019, there were 395 mandatory standards for medical devices, 85 of which being national standards, and 310 being industry standards. In 2019, in order to follow the State Council’s decision to integrate and streamline mandatory standards, NMPA issued the Notice on the conversion of 40 mandatory sectoral standards for medical devices into recommended sectoral standards. Among the 40 converted standards, which include “Protective devices against diagnostic medical X-radiation — Part 1: Determination of attenuation properties of materials”, 23 (57.5%) are product standards, 9 (22.5%) are basic standards, 7 (17.5%) are method standards, and 1 is management standard.

Management of Medical Device Standards

In 2019, NMPA issued three key documents to further refine the normative requirements of the medical device standard and regulation system:

  • Requirements for the Management of Medical Device Standardisation Work Archives (September,;
  • Key Points of Medical Device Standard Audit (not available for the public);
  • Detailed Rules for Examination and Evaluation of Medical Device Standardisation Technical Committees (not available for the public);

At the same time, NMPA also revised the Detailed Rules for the Verification of Medical Device Standards, and the Workflow for the Audit and Approval of Medical Device Standards. These documents form the formative foundation for China’s medical device standard system.

Establishment of Medical Device Standardisation Organisations

In recent years, China has made great efforts in organising and establishing standardisation committees for various emerging fields. The objective is to promote the development of the medical device standard system, and in particular standardisation activities in emerging technology fields and in medical device areas where China has strong competitiveness, such as AI medical devices and nano medical devices.

In 2019, two sub-TCs were approved and established by SAC, namely:

  • Active Implants Subcommittee of the National TC for Surgical Implants and Orthopaedic Devices (SAC/TC 110/SC4);
  • Biological Evaluation of Nano Medical Devices Subcommittee of the National TC for the Biological Evaluation of Medical Devices (SAC/TC 248/SC1).

Three management units were approved, responsible for medical electroacoustic equipment, the medical additive manufacturing technology and AI medical devices.

Over 40 years of development since the establishment of the first TC for medical devices in 1980, the number of medical device standardisation committees in China has gradually increased to 32, thus constantly expanding the scope of medical device standardisation work.

















International standardisation work

  • Constantly growing alignment between Chinese and international standards

According to statistics, by the end of 2019, the total number of international standards (ISO and IEC standards) for medical devices requiring conversion by China accounted to 670. Among these, 28 were new international standards issued in 2019, while 582 had already been converted or were in the process of being converted by China. If we exclude the 28 newly-released standards in 2019, therefore, China’s conversion rate of international medical device standards exceeded 90%.

  • Strengthened communication with ANSI

NMPA organised various China-US seminars on medical device standard systems to further grasp the latest trends of medical device standardisation abroad.

Disclosure of Information on Standards

  • Increased disclosure of information on standards

The texts of medical device standards are disclosed on the official website of the Medical Device Standard Management Centre of NMPA. According to the annual report, the catalogue of sectoral medical device standards and the texts of mandatory medical device sectoral standards were fully disclosed. Furthermore, in 2019 the texts of the first batch of 636 recommended medical device sectoral standards without adopting international standards were made public, accounting to an 87% disclosure rate.

  • Increased disclosure of information on standard formulation and revision

In order to increase the disclosure of information on standard formulation and revision, and to implement the requirements stipulated in the Management Specifications for Medical Device Standards Formulation and Revision, in 2019 NMPA made effort in the following three areas:

  • Expansion of the sources of standardisation projects: NMPA opened to the public the application portal for medical device standardisation project proposals (on the official website of its Medical Device Standard Management Centre), encouraging relevant companies, organisations and individuals to submit standardisation project proposals;
  • Extensive solicitation of opinions on standards: in line with the requirements of the Administrative Measures for Medical Device Standards, in 2019 NMPA published for public comments a total of 157 medical device standardisation projects and 136 standard drafts;
  • Exploration of standard feedback mechanisms and establishment of public communication platforms: the public can consult about medical device standards-related issues, and contribute their opinions and suggestions through the information platform, where specialized personnel are ready to offer timely response.


For the original text of the report, visit:

Regulations on the Supervision and Administration of Cosmetics Clarify Punitive Measures for Violators: Lifelong Access Prohibition for Serious Violators


On 16 June 2020, Premier Li Keqiang signed the Decree No. 727 of the State Council to release the Regulations on Supervision and Administration of Cosmetics.

The Regulations, which will take effect from 1 January 2021, clarify the scope of punitive measures to be adopted against violators. Fines shall be imposed on the legal representative, the main person in charge, the person directly responsible and/or other people from entities that:

  • Engage in the production of cosmetics without permission;
  • Produce, market or import special cosmetics without proper registration;
  • Use ingredients prohibited in the production of cosmetics;
  • Add substances, in the production of cosmetics, that may endanger human health.

In case of serious violations, a lifelong ban from producing and operating cosmetics will be enforced.

The new Regulations also provide a classification of cosmetics and new cosmetic ingredients based on their degree of safety risk, namely:

  • Special cosmetics, or ordinary cosmetics;
  • New ingredients with high risks, or other new ingredients.

Registration and filing will respectively be implemented, and a more science-based supervision and management approach will be implemented.

Other key relevant issues of the Regulations are explained as follows:

Q1: How can the quality and safety of cosmetics be guaranteed?

A1: The person applying for the registration and filing will bear the primary responsibility.

Although cosmetics are not usually regarded as products with potentially high safety risks, safety considerations cannot be ignored given the fact that cosmetics are applied directly on the skin. In order to strengthen the quality and safety control of cosmetics, the Regulations focus on improving the following systems:

  • The person applying for the registration and filing will be responsible for the safety and the claimed efficacy of cosmetics;
  • Safety assessments. The person applying for the registration and filing must conduct safety assessments of cosmetics and new ingredients;
  • Strengthening the management of the production and operation of cosmetics. Enterprises must organise the production of cosmetics according to relevant quality management regulations, with clear requirements specified for: ingredients and packaging materials used; raw materials and factory inspection; product release, storage and transportation; and other relevant processes. They will also need to standardise the labels and advertising of cosmetics.
  • Strengthening quality and safety control of cosmetics after their introduction on the market. The person applying for the registration and filing must carry out adverse reaction monitoring, timely evaluation and reporting; they must also recall, in a timely manner, all cosmetics that may present health safety risks, and implement safety reassessment systems for all cosmetics and ingredients.


Q2: Was the legal liability stipulated by previous regulations considered too light?

A2: It is not light anymore thanks to the increased intensity of punitive measures introduced by the new Regulations, which also hold specific individuals legally liable.

In the previous Regulations Concerning the Hygiene Supervision over Cosmetics, enacted in 1989, the legal liability was relatively light. In order to protect public health and create a favorable market environment for law-abiding actors, the new Regulations increase the intensity of punishment and severely crack down on illegal activities, specifically by:

  • Specifying the circumstances in which administrative punishment shall be imposed, and introducing strict legal liability based on the nature, circumstances and degree of harm of the violation;
  • Intensifying the degree of punishment through measures such as confiscation, fines, orders to suspend production and/or business operations, revocation of licenses, ban from accessing the market or the industry; and increasing the amount of fines;
  • Adding a new provision to extend legal liability to individuals involved in the act of violation. Fines shall be imposed on the legal representative, the main person in charge, the person directly responsible and/or other individuals involved. A temporary or lifelong ban from engaging in production and management of cosmetics will also be imposed.


Q3: How to address exaggerated claims on the efficacy of cosmetics?

A3: Through enterprise self-discipline and social supervision, and through government ongoing and ex post supervision

The problem of exaggerated or false claims on the efficacy of cosmetics remains quite prominent; it not only misleads consumers, but also disrupt the market order. To address this problem, the Regulations introduce a management model for the advertising of cosmetics and their efficiency, based on enterprise self-discipline and social supervision, which at the same time will be matched by ongoing and ex post government supervision. Specifically:

  • The person applying for the registration and filing of cosmetics will be held liable for the claimed efficacy;
  • The efficacy of cosmetics must be claimed based on solid scientific basis, and must be subject to social supervision;
  • The labels of cosmetics must not incorporate explicit or implied medical functions, or false or misleading content.

The original Chinese version of this news is available on the official website of SAMR: Regulations on the Supervision and Administration of Cosmetics clarify punitive measures for violators: lifelong access prohibition for serious violators.

The full text, in Chinese, of the Regulations is available at this link: Regulations on the Supervision and Administration of Cosmetics.

By Haley WU on 29 July, 2020