Standards development as hybridization and capacity building

Xiaobai Shen*, Ian Graham, Robin Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


While users in the rest of the world have been offered 3G mobile phones based on either the CDMA2000 or W-CDMA standards, users in China have the additional option of using phones based on the TDSCDMA standard. As a technology largely developed by Chinese actors and only implemented in China, TD-SCDMA has been seen as an "indigenous innovation" orchestrated by the Chinese government and supported by Chinese firms. China's support for TD-SCDMA was widely viewed in the West as a ploy to keep the "global" 3G standards, W-CDMA and CDMA2000, out of China, but in 2009, the Chinese government licensed the operation of all three standards. The authors argue that Chinese support for TD-SCDMA, rather than being a defensive move, was a proactive policy to use the TD-SCDMA standard to develop Chinese industrial capacity, which could then be fed back into the global processes developing later generations of telecommunications standards. Rather than being an indigenous Chinese technology, TD-SCDMA's history exemplifies how standards and the intellectual property and technological know-how embedded in them lead to a complex hybridization between the global and national systems of innovation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationModern Trends Surrounding Information Technology Standards and Standardization within Organizations
EditorsKai Jacobs
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781466663336
ISBN (Print)9781466663329
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2014


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