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China seeks global leadership for home-grown fast charging standards

Officials came right out and said this is all about scoring a global win

China has decided it needs a fast charging standard for devices sold inside the Middle Kingdom, and hopes its efforts will see its preferred tech rule the world.

The China Communications Standardization Association (CCSA) announced it held its inaugural meeting of the Terminal Fast Charging Technology and Standard Promotion Committee (TC626).

At the meeting, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology representative Wang Peng said it was "imperative to promote the establishment of compatible and unified fast charging standards." Wang also said that in addition to green initiatives and coordinating industrial development, standardizing chargers would "expand the influence of industrial development."

CCSA chairman Wen Ku said the committee intends to use the terminal integration of fast charging as "an opportunity to aggregate the upstream and downstream of the industry."

TC626 chair Xie Yi said the committee would "start the transformation of fast charging group standards to international standards in a timely manner, so as to achieve the leadership of China's fast charging technology in global standards."

It is unclear exactly what China wants to build, but a fast charging standard would have several advantages.

For starters it could challenge US firms like Qualcomm, which ties its Quick Charge tech to phones that use its Snapdragon SoCs.

Making Chinese smartphone makers less dependent on Qualcomm could help China to reach its goal of silicon self-sufficiency by 2035.

A standard could also benefit China's smartphone makers by relieving them of the need for independent R&D. Chinese companies like Xiaomi often make a virtue of their proprietary fast charging tech. A national standard would let them work harder in other areas.

Chinese smartphones could also become more attractive around the world if they include a standard charging system that different manufacturers can use.

China is also surely aware of the European Union's decision that smartphones, tablets and cameras sold within the Union's boundaries must adopt USB-C by the middle of the decade.

The EU's goal of reducing e-waste by making it less likely that users need to replace chargers applies equally in China.

Lawmakers in the US are looking towards implementing similar mandates.

Charging standards have had major implications for manufacturers that have proprietary chargers – such as Apple, which favors its own Lightning tech for charging and connecting accessories.

By developing fast charging standards, China is therefore giving itself a chance of making some home-grown tech widely accepted. ®

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