International Standard-Setting for Smart Cities―Some Insights from China's Standard Draft Regarding Public Health Emergencies

Author Name NAIKI Yoshiko (Nagoya University)
Creation Date/NO. March 2022 22-J-015
Research Project Comprehensive Research on the Current International Trade/Investment System (pt.V)
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A Nikkei newspaper article (5th August 2020) regarding China's standard draft on public health emergencies in smart cities attracted attention and raised concerns over China's standard setting power during this pandemic. This paper explores the recent development of rules and standards for smart cities. Currently, there are four major international standard-setting forums for smart cities: (1) the International Organization for Standardization (ISO); (2) the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC); (3) the ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee and (4) the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Moreover, other institutions, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Group of Twenty (G20), have been discussing concepts and principles for smart cities. The reason why so many forums/regimes are addressing smart cities is that it is necessary to define what makes a smart city. However, if there are several institutions addressing smart cities, it would cause problems including competition and redundancies among those institutions. Also, there is a growing issue of data governance and smart cities, which has raised a concern related to which institution can properly address the issue. It remains to be seen how the rule-making systems of these institutions would interact in an effective way.