26. September 2023

Connectivity, centrality, and adaptation: The coproduction of political space in China’s standardization of autonomous driving technologies Connectivity, centrality, and adaptation

Nicolas Huppenbauer

Nicolas Huppenbauer, Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter und Doktorand am CASSIS, widmet sich in seinem neuen Artikel im "Global Media and China"-Journal der geopolitischen Seite von Konnektivität und chinesischer Standardisierungspraktiken.

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Technical standards are a topic of intense geopolitical competition. This article introduces standardization as a practice constitutive of meaning and social order, and, in particular, one that coproduces political space. It engages with the argument that China in international standardization aims to make itself more central, and increasingly rejects domestic adaptation, in order to promote a new spatial vision of Sino-centric connectivity for international relations. After situating this argument in the literature on standardization and space-making, the article analyzes China’s policy discourse on the standardization of Intelligent and Connected Vehicles. The analyzed discourse reveals a position towards connectivity that is partially Sino-centric, but also reproduces established narratives of openness, technical expertise, and cooperation. The article adds to the debate on the coproduction of political space by introducing standardization as a site through which connectivity as a geopolitical vision is negotiated. Empirically, it adds to recent findings that China's different national goals for digital infrastructure development may compete with each other, reducing the country's potential to coherently connect with the world on its own terms.

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