The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is looking for parties to help the agency create a request for information (RFI) that would look to examine China’s role in setting international standards around emerging technology, according to a May 12 sources sought notice posted to

While the Standards and Coordination Office (SCO) at NIST is looking for recommendations on what to include in the RFI, the agency has already hashed out much of what would be examined in the investigation. NIST expects to award a one-year firm-fixed purchase order to look at the role China has played in international standards-setting organizations over the past decade. The task list will also include taking a lead role in drafting related committees.

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“SCO monitors and participates in standards development and conformity assessment activities globally, consults with other federal agencies on standards policy issues, offers workshops and educational seminars for domestic and international audiences within the federal and state governments and academia, and provides standards-related research and information services,” the sources sought notice says.

At the crux of the RFI, NIST is looking to understand to what extent two long-term national Chinese strategies have played in crafting international tech standards. NIST also wants to learn how the United States can increase its public and private sector participation in standards-setting at an international level and mitigate China’s influence in that setting.

NIST wants to know the effect the standardization strategy “Chinese Standard 2035” has played in setting standards for emerging tech like cloud computing and services. Additionally, NIST wants to know if international standards for emerging tech are designed to promote the interests in China’s “Made in China” program, at the exclusion of other participants.

The RFI would also look for a contractor that would examine China’s prior engagement in international standards-setting in order to predict how likely it is that China participates in the international standard-setting process for technologies like AI and quantum computing.

Responses to the sources sought notice are due May 20.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.