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Divergent patterns of engagement in Internet standardization: Japan, Korea and China

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This article analyzes the engagement of Japanese, Korean and Chinese participants in the development of Internet standards at IETF on the basis of four quantitative metrics: attendance, patenting, authorship and leadership. The results are strikingly divergent. Japanese involvement in Internet standardization began 'early and Japan was, for many years, second only to the U.S. in terms of IETF participation. Though Japanese participation has declined since the early 2000s, Japan remains a major contributor to IETF standardization. Korean involvement in IETF has always been significant, but below the levels of Japan and major European countries. Korean participation in IETF has also declined over the past decade, and has been dominated by one firm, Samsung. Though meaningful Chinese involvement in IETF did not begin until the mid-2000s, it has rapidly expanded in recent years. Today, China is a major player in numerous areas of Internet standardization in terms of three metrics (participation, patenting and leadership), and is rapidly gaining in terms of document authorship as well. Most of China's recent IETF involvement can be attributed to Huawei, though other Chinese firms have recently begun to increase their participation in the organization. Thus, contrary to some views that China's engagement with standardization is primarily one of indigenous innovation and "catching up", China's experience with IETF demonstrates deliberate and effective engagement with a major Western standards-development organization on its own terms.
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Technical! interoperability! standards! enable! devices! manufactured! by! different!
vendors!to!communicate!with!one!another!seamlessly!and!invisibly!to!the!consumer.!As!
markets!for!technology!products!have! become! increasingly!global,!the!development!of!
technical!standards!has!also!taken!on!an!international!character!(Mattli!&!Büthe,!2003).!!
Firms!from!different! geographical!regions!routinely!collaborate!to!develop!standards!in!
markets!such!as!telecommunications,!computing!and!networking!(Funk!&!Methe,!2001).!!
Despite! this! outward! cooperation,! it! has! been! frequently! observed! that! national!
differences! shape! firms’! participation! in! collaborative! standardization! activities! (NRC,!
2013,!Leiponen,!2006).!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!2!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
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The! experience! of! the! three! major! Asian! technology! economies! has! been!
analyzed!extensively!with!respect! to! standards! for!wireless!telecommunications!(Vialle,!
Song!&!Zhang,!2012,!Ernst,!2011,!Liu!&!Cheng,!2011,!Jho,!2007,!Maeda,!Amar!&!Gibson,!
2006,!Funk!&!Methe,!2001),!as!well!as!other!technology!markets!(e.g.,!digital!television!
in!Korea!(Lee,!Lim!&!Song,!2005),!microcomputer!software!in!Japan!(Cottrell,!1992),!and!
audio!video! coding! in!China! (Ernst,!2011)).!! Nevertheless,!relatively! little! attention!has!
been!paid!to!the!role!that!Asian!participants!have!played!in!the!development!of!Internet!
standards.! Given! recent! estimates! that! more! than! one! billion! Internet! users! reside! in!
Asia,! representing! nearly! 45%! of! all! global! Internet! users! (IWS,! 2012),! a! better!
understanding!of!the!processes!by!which!Internet!standards!are!developed,!and!the!role!
played!by!Asian!participants!in!those!processes,!is!called!for.!!!
!
This!article!analyzes,!for!the!first!time,!the!engagement!of!Japanese,!Korean!and!
Chinese! participants 1!in! the! development! of! Internet! standards! at! the! Internet!
Engineering!Task!Force! (IETF),!the!primary! international! forum!for! the! development!of!
Internet! architecture,! transport! and! security! protocols,! specifications! and! standards.!!
We!find!that!Asian!participation!in!this!group,!which!was!initially!dominated!by!U.S.!and!
European!interests,!has!gradually!increased!over!the!years.!!Initial!early!involvement!by!
a! core! of! Japanese! Internet! engineers! soon! gave! way! to! broader! participation! by!
Japanese!and!Korean!commercial!firms.!!But!today!it!is!China!that!has!risen!to!a!position!
of!dominance,!with!attendance!and!patent!disclosures!second!only!to!the!U.S.!by!2012.!
Conversely,! the! prevalence! of! Japan! (third! in! terms! of! overall! attendance)! and! Korea!
(eighth!in!terms!of!attendance)!have!declined!in!both!absolute!and!relative!terms.!
!
This! article! first! discusses! prior! research! on! the! institutional! and! national!
structure!of!technical!standardization.!It!next!summarizes!the!development!of!technical!
standards!for!wireless!telecommunications!in!Japan,!Korea!and!China,!to!provide!a!basis!
for! comparison! with! Internet! standardization.! ! Third,! it! provides! an! overview! of! the!
existing! institutional! framework! for! Internet! standardization,! as! well! as! Japanese,!
Korean!and!Chinese!involvement!in!these!activities.!!Fourth,!it!presents!empirical!studies!
of!data!pertaining!to!Asian!participation!in!the!IETF,!comparing!that!of!Japanese,!Korean!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1!References! to! Korea! are! to! the! Republic! of! Korea! (South! Korea)! and! do! not! include! the! Peoples’!
Democratic!Republic!of!Korea!(North! Korea).!!References!to! China!are!to!the! Peoples’!Republic!of! China!
and!do!not!include!Taiwan!(the!Republic!of!China)!or!pre'1997!Hong!Kong.!!Representatives!of!other!Asian!
countries!participated!in!IETF!activities!during!the!periods!studied,!but!in!numbers!and!with!regularity!well!
below!those!of!Japan,!Korea!and!China.!!We!have!thus!limited!our!study!to!these!three!countries,!though!
the! data! presented! includes! participants! from! Singapore,! Taiwan,! Malaysia! and! other! Asia'Pacific!
countries.! ! We! have! not! included! southern!Asia! (notably! India)! in! this! study,! as! its! development,!
geographical!location!and!culture!are!not!typically!viewed!in!tandem!with!the!countries!studied.!!We!also!
understand!that! geographical!studies!are!inherently!limited,!and!that!comparing! Japan,!Korea!and! China!
with! European! and! other! Western! participants! as! a! whole! may! give! the! impression! that!
European/Western!participants!can!be!viewed!as!a!unitary!bloc,!which!is!of!course!not!the!case.!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!3!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
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and!Chinese!firms.!!The!article!concludes!with!an!analysis!of!the!results,!particularly!the!
recent!surge!of!activity!by!Chinese!firms!and!suggests!directions!for!future!research.!
!
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!
The! positive! market! effects! of! broad! product! interoperability! and!
standardization!have!been!well!documented!(Shapiro!&!Varian,!1998).!!For! this!reason,!
the!institutional!and!organizational!structures!of!technical!standard'setting!bodies!have!
attracted! significant! interest! from! researchers.! It! has! been! observed! that! national!
differences! shape! firms’! participation! in! collaborative! standardization! activities! (NRC,!
2013,! Leiponen,! 2006).! Individual! participation! in! standardization! organizations! has!
been! shown! to! facilitate! coalition'building! and! influence! within! such! organizations!
(Dokko! &! Rosenkopf,! 2010).! ! Because! many! standards! organizations! are! driven! by!
consensus! decision! making! and! are! relatively! egalitarian,! any! firm! or! country! that! is!
represented!by! individual! participants!can!seek!to!influence!the!technical!direction!and!
outcomes!of! the!organization! (Loya! &! Bell,! 1999).!IETF! makes!many! of! its! records! and!
deliberations! publicly! available! via! the! Internet,! and! prior! research! has! made! use! of!
publicly'available! data! from! IETF! to! draw! conclusions! regarding! the! operation! and!
efficiency! of! IETF! and! standardization! bodies! more! generally! (Simcoe,! 2007,! Simcoe,!
2012).!!!
!
! Previous!studies! that! have!quantified! participation! in!standard'setting! activities!
on!the!basis! of! national!origin!have! typically! done!so!at! the! firm!level,!rather! than! the!
individual!level!(Bar!&!Leiponen,!2014,!Leiponen,!2008).!!However,!because!IETF!is!based!
on!individual,!rather!than!firm,!participation!(see!Section!5.1),!and!because!the!number!
of! individuals! that! a! firm! sponsors! to! participate! in! a! standardization! activity! may! be!
indicative!of!the!firm’s!commitment! to! that! activity,!we!measured!participation!in!IETF!
on!an! individual!basis.! ! Ernst! as! well!as! Breznitz!and! Murphree! have!analyzed! Chinese!
regulatory,!economic!and!interview!data!to!develop!theories!regarding!the!position!and!
strategy! of! the! Chinese! government! and! firms! regarding! technical! standardization!
(Ernst,!2011;!Breznitz!&!Murphree,!2012!and!2013).!Breznitz!and!Murphree!in!particular!
observe! that! Chinese! firms! are! becoming! adept! at! participating! in! Western! standards!
bodies!(Breznitz!&!Murphree,!2013).!
!
! The! patenting! of! standardized! technologies! has! often! been! utilized! as! an!
indicator!of!firm!engagement!in!standardization!processes!(Blind,!2011,!Simcoe,!Graham!
&!Feldman,!2009,!Bekkers!&!West,!2008,!!Gandal,!Gantman!&!Genesove,!2004,!Bekkers,!
Verspagen!&!Smits,!2002).!!Likewise,!independent!of! standardization,!patenting!activity!
has! been! analyzed! in! terms! of! the! patentees’! national! origin,! including! the! increasing!
number! of! U.S.! patents! being! obtained! by! Asian! firms! (Kesan,! Marco! &! Miller,! 2014;!
USPTO,!2013).!!!
!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!4!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
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! Standardization! typically! involves! the! submission,! evaluation,! modification! and!
adoption! of! one! or! more! written! documents! setting! forth! the! relevant! standard.!!
Authorship!of! a! document!suggests! that! the!author! or! his!or! her!firm!is! likely!to! exert!
some! level! of! influence! over! the! relevant! standard.! ! Thus,! quantifications! of! editorial!
and! authorial! positions! within! standards! setting! organizations! have! been! deemed! to!
indicate!meaningful! influence!of!standardization!processes!(Dokko!&!Rosenkopf,! 2010).!!!
Holding!leadership!positions!in!standardization!organizations!has!also!been!identified!as!
an!indicator! of! influence! over! the! standardization! process,!as! leadership!positions! can!
strengthen! a! firm’s! social! capital! within! a! standardization! organization! (Dokko! &!
Rosenkopf,!2010,!Loya!&!Boli,!1999).!!!
!
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!
We!measured!the!engagement! of! Japanese,!Korean!and!Chinese!participants! in!
IETF! over! a! multi'year! period! on! the! basis! of! four! quantitative! metrics:! (1)! individual!!
attendance! at! IETF! in'person! meetings,! (2)! disclosure! of! patents! covering! IETF!
standards,! (3)! authorship! of! draft! and! final! standards! documents,! and! (4)! leadership!
positions! within! the! organization.!!In! most! cases,! data! was! obtained! from! public! web!
sites!maintained!by!IETF!at!www.ietf.org!in!March!through!May!2013.!
!
We! measured! participation! in! IETF! on! an! individual! basis! using! data! hand'
collected!from!IETF’s!publicly'available!online!meeting!proceedings!for!the!time!periods!
indicated!in!Section!6.2.!! Each! individual!attendee!at!an!IETF!meeting! was! classified!by!
national!origin,!based! on! self'reported!country!of! origin,!email!address! or! other!public!
information.!!
!
We! utilized! IETF’s! public! database! of! patent! disclosures!
(https://datatracker.ietf.org/ipr/)!to!identify!all!patent!disclosures!made!with!respect!to!
IETF!standards!during!the!periods!studied,!and!then!associated!each!disclosure!with!the!
country!of!origin!of!the!disclosing!firm!or!individual.!
!
We!identified! the! national! origin! of! the! authors!of! all! documents! submitted! to!
IETF! as! Internet'Drafts,! as! well! as! all! finalized! documents! published! by! IETF! as! RFCs!
(standards!or!draft! standards)! (see!Section!5.1).2!This! data! was!obtained!from!the! IETF!
Document! Statistics! web! site! maintained! by! Jari! Arkko,! the! current! IETF! Chair,! at!
http://www.arkko.com/tools/docstats.html! (accessed! on! May! 21,! 2013).! ! These! data!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2!The! IETF! document! series! extends! back! to! the! first! Internet!Request! for! Comments! (RFC),! which! was!
published!in!1968.! ! IETF! was!formally!constituted! as! an!organization! in! 1985.!! Thus,! a!small! number! of!
documents!included!in!these!data!predate!the!formation!of!IETF!(841!RFCs!were!published!between!1968!
and!1984,!inclusive,!of!a!total!of!approximately!7000!published!through!May!2013).!!The!term!RFC!has!in!
recent! years! lost! its! meaning! as! “Request! for! Comments”,! and! now! simply! refers! to! the! definitive!
standards!and!reference!documents!published!by!IETF!(Russell,!2014).!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!5!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
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were! been! compiled! by! automated! software! tools! that! interrogate! the! public! IETF!
document!repository.!
!!
We!hand'collected!data!regarding!the!national!origin!of! individuals!holding!IETF!
leadership!positions!during!the!time!periods!noted!in!Section!6.5!based!on!IETF’s!public!
records! of! IESG! and! membership! in! the! principal! IETF! leadership! bodies,! the! Internet!
Engineering!Steering!Group!(IESG)!and!Internet!Architecture!Board!(IAB).!The!nationality!
of! members! serving! on! these! bodies! was! determined! through! self'identification,!
employer!location!and!direct!inquiry!to!knowledgeable!persons!within!IETF.!
!
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National! approaches! to! standard'setting! are! known! differ! greatly,! with! some!
governments!playing!a!strong!role!in!shaping!standards'development!and!adoption,!and!
others! (notably! the! U.S.)! largely! allowing! private! industry! and! market! forces! to!
determine! what! standards! will! be! adopted! (Ernst,! 2012;! Leiponen,! 2006).!!
Standardization! approaches! also! differ! among! industry! sectors.! ! Thus,! the! process! by!
which!Internet! standards! have!been! developed!differs! significantly! from!the! processes!
that! brought! about! successive! generations! of! wireless! telecommunications! standards!
(1G,! 2G,! 3G! and! 4G).! ! Due,! in! part,! to! governments’! need! to! allocate! scarce! radio!
spectrum!to!telecommunications!carriers,!governments!have!historically!taken!an!active!
role! in! the! development! of! telecommunications! standards! (Russell,! 2014;! Cowhey,!
2006).!This!has!been! less! the! case!with!Internet!standardization,!which! arose! primarily!
from! the! computing,! rather! than! the! telecommunications,! industry! (Russell,! 2014).!!
Nevertheless,! the! differing! experiences! of! Japan,! Korea! and! China! with! wireless!
telecommunications! standards! offer! an! important! context! for! their! later! engagement!
with!Internet!standards.3!!These!experiences!are!summarized!below.!
!
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! By! the! early! 1980s,! key! industry! players! began! to! recognize! the! need! for! a!
second'generation! (2G)! digital! wireless! telecommunications! standard! that! would!
support! both! voice! and! data! communications.! Two! leading! technical! approaches!
emerged:!time'division!multiplex!access!(TDMA),!which!eventually!led!to!the!European-
\2%'J"-6J]$)*#!V%O)#"!(GSM)!2G!standard,!and!code!division!multiplex!access!(CDMA).!
In! 1989! work! on! GSM! was! assumed! by! the! European! Telecommunications! Standards!
Institute! (ETSI),! a! European'focused! industry'funded! SDO,! and! the! GSM! standard! was!
published!in!1990.!!In! the! U.S.,!several!different!2G! standards! emerged!based!on! both!
TDMA!and!CDMA!technology.!Further!solutions!emerged!in!Japan!and!Korea,!leading!to!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3 The!differing!experiences!of!Japan,!Korea!and!China,!as!well!as!their!cooperation,!have!been!analysed!in!
the! literature! with! respect! to! other! technology! sectors,! including! open! source! software! (Li,! Lin! &! Xia,!
2004)! and! cloud! computing! (Lee! &! Kim,! 2013).! However,! because! the! focus! of! this! article! is! on!
standardization,!we!have!not!addressed!technologies!in!which!standardization!is!not!a!key!element.
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!6!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
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global! fragmentation! and! a! perceived! need! for! a! more! uniform! solution! (Cowhey,!
Aronson!&!Richards,!2006;!Jho,!2007).!
!
! Initial! 3G! standardization! efforts! were! conducted! through! the! 3G! Partnership!
Project!(3GPP),! an! alliance! of! regional! SDOs! including!ETSI,! the! U.S.'based! Alliance! for!
Telecommunications!Industry!Solutions!(ATIS)!and!groups!from!Asia.!!3GPP!focused!on!a!
CDMA'based! successor! to! GSM! called! W'CDMA! (also! known! in! Europe! as! Universal!
Mobile!Telecommunications!System!(UMTS)).!3GPP!sought!to!have!W'CDMA!recognized!
by! the! International! Telecommunications! Union! (ITU).! These! efforts,! however,! were!
opposed!by!countries!with!strong!incumbent! CDMA! carriers! including!the!U.S.,!Canada!
and! several! Latin! American! states,! which! backed! the! competing! CDMA2000! standard!
developed!primarily! by!Qualcomm.! The! international! debate! over!3G! standards!at! ITU!
resulted! in! a! compromise! in! which! ITU! approved! both! W'CDMA! and! CDMA2000! as!
standards!in!2000.!
!
! The! shift! from! 3G! to! 4G! networks! is! currently! under! way.! ! The! dominant! 4G!
technology!is! the!Long'Term! Evolution!(LTE)! standard!developed! through!3GPP,! which!
offers! an! upgrade! path! for! both! CDMA! and! GSM/UMTS! networks.!!LTE! was! initially!
proposed!by! Japan’s! DoCoMo! in! 2004! and! was! finalized! in! 2008.! As! a! result! of! broad!
market! adoption,! LTE! has! gained! a! significant! lead! over! the! competing! IEEE! 802.16m!
(WirelessMAN'Advanced!or!“WiMax”)!4G!long'range!wireless!networking!standard.!
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! Japan’s!historical!approach!to!telecommunications!standardization!can!be!traced!
to! its! century'old! national! telecommunications! monopoly,! Nippon! Telegraph! and!
Telephone! Co.! (NTT).! ! NTT,! with! substantial! subsidies! from! the! Japanese! government,!
single'handedly! designed! Japan’s! telecommunications! infrastructure! and! supported! a!
dedicated! “family”! of! equipment! manufacturers! including! Hitachi,! Fujitsu! and! NEC!
(Kushida,! 2008).!!Japan’s! system! was,! until! recently,! characterized! by! proprietary!
standards!developed!in!NTT’s!research!labs,!mandated!by!the!national!Ministry!of!Posts!
and!Telecommunications!(MPT)!and!deployed!by!NTT’s!family!of!suppliers.!!While!most!
industrialized! economies! relied! on! proprietary! standards! in! the! early! days! of! wireless!
communications,! Japan! continued! this! trend! long! after! most! others! had! embraced!
collaborative!international!standards!(Kushida,!2008).!
!
!Thus,! in! the! early! 1990s,! when! U.S.! and! European! manufacturers! were!
cooperating! to! enable! the! shift! from! 1G! analog! cellular! technologies! to! 2G! digital!
technologies,!NTT!independently! developed!the!proprietary! PDC! 2G!wireless!standard.!!
Though! technically! robust,! PDC! never! found! a! market! outside! of! Japan,4!isolating!
Japanese! manufacturers! from! international! markets! and! handicapping! their! ability! to!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4!NTT! was! legally! prohibited! from! engaging! in! international! operations! until! 1999! (Kushida,! 2008).!!
International!communications!services!in!Japan!were!managed!by!a!separate!entity,!KDD.!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!7!
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!
!
compete!with! U.S.! and!European! manufacturers.5!!Japan’s! reliance! on!PDC! also!meant!
that! Japanese! engineers! had! little! opportunity! or! reason! to! engage! in! international!
standard'setting! activities,! isolating! them! technologically! from! their! peers! around! the!
world.!!!
!
! The!effects!of! Japan’s! isolation!became!clear!during! the! global!shift!from! 2G! to!
3G!mobile!technologies.!!By!the!mid'1990s,!Japanese!carriers!including!NTT’s!DoCoMo,6!
called! on! the! Japanese! government! to! authorize! the! adoption! of! international! 3G!
standards.! ! DoCoMo! participated! in! the! 3GPP!effort! to! develop! W'CDMA! and! have! it!
adopted! by! ITU.! However,! no! other! Japanese! organizations! were! substantial!
contributors! to! international! 3G! standards! (Leiponen,! 2006).!!This! situation! continued!
with!the!evolution!from!3G!to!4G!systems,!as!DoCoMo!introduced!the!LTE!4G!standard!
in!3GPP!with!little!support!from!other!Japanese!firms.!
!!
A7>7- K%2"*-*(L-!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-6+*(L*2L)I*+)%(-
!
! Unlike!Japan’s!powerful!NTT,!the!Korean!telephone!monopoly,!Korea!Telephone!
(KT),! did! not! dominate! national! telecommunications! research! and! development!
(Kushida,! 2008).! ! Rather,! the! government'funded! Electronics! and! Telecommunications!
Research! Institute! (ETRI)! led! telecommunications! research! with! an! eye! toward!
supporting! private! sector! initiatives.! ! Also! unlike! Japan,! Korea! lacked! a! group!of!
domestic! telecom! equipment! suppliers.! ! It! was! a! latecomer! to! analog! cellular! service,!
and! was! thus! heavily! dependent! on! foreign! suppliers! such! as! Motorola! and! AT&T!
(Kushida,!2008).!
!
!Unlike! NTT,! ETRI! did! not! attempt! to! develop! a! unique! Korean! 2G! technology.!!
Rather,! in! the! early'! to! mid'1990s,! Korean! manufacturers! debated! whether! to! adopt!
TDMA,! which! was! gaining! significant! ground! in! Europe,! or! CDMA,! developed!by!
Qualcomm.! ! ETRI! established! an! early! cooperative! R&D! arrangement! with! Qualcomm!
and!made!significant!contributions!to!CDMA!technology!(Jho,!2007;!Kushida,!2008).! ! In!
1995,!the!Korean!Ministry!of!Information!and!Communications!(MIC)!adopted!the!IS'95!
CDMA!standard!as!the!Korean!national!2G!network!standard!(Jho,!2007).!!Because!Korea!
was! the! first! country! to! commercialize! CDMA,! and! because! established! international!
players!such!as!Motorola!had!little!experience!with!it,!Korean!equipment!vendors!such!
as!Samsung,!LG!and! Hyundai! had!an!opportunity!to! lead! the!market!with!early! CDMA'
based! products! (Kushida,! 2008).!!Nevertheless,! the! Korean! government’s! adoption! of!
CDMA! as! the! sole! 2G! wireless! standard! in! Korea! put! Korean! manufacturers! at! a!
disadvantage!in!producing!TDMA! equipment! for!the!export!market!(Jho,! 2007).!!In! the!
case!of!3G!technology,!the!Korean!government!did!not!mandate!the!use!of!a!particular!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5!Kushida! likens! Japan’s! technological! isolation! to! a! “Galapagos”,! in! which! stranded! species! evolve!
according!to!local!requirements,!unaffected!by!global!events!(2008).!
6!DoCoMo!was!spun!out!of!NTT!in!1991.!
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!
standard,!and!W'CDMA! products! entered! the!market!in!competition!with!CDMA'based!
CDMA2000!products!(Id.)!
!
! Korea’s! commitment! to! mobile! telephony! standards! was! most! recently!
evidenced! by! Samsung’s! announcement! that! it! has! developed! a! new! “5G”! wireless!
antenna!system!that!is!capable!of!operating!“hundreds!of!times”!faster!than!4G!devices!
and! could! support! applications! such! as! ultra'high! definition! (UHD)! video! streaming!
(Arthur,! 2013).!!While! the! development! and! commercial! deployment! of! a! standard!
embodying!this!new!technology!could!be!a!decade!away,!Samsung’s!early!entry!into!the!
nascent! 5G! space! signals! that! it! is! interested! in! leading! standardization,! product!
development!and!possibly!patenting!in!this!area.!
-
A7A7- :4)(*-*(L-!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-6+*(L*2L)I*+)%(!
!
! China’s! history! of! technology! standardization! exhibits! both! similarities! to! and!
significant! differences! from! that! of! Japan! and! Korea.! ! Unlike! Japan! and! Korea,! China!
lacked! a! strong! domestic! technology! sector! in! the! 1980s! when! international!
telecommunications! standards! were! first! being! developed! and! deployed! across! Asia.!!
China! has! thus! portrayed! itself! as! being! in! a! “catch'up”! mode! both! as! to! technology!
development! and! standardization! (Ernst,! 2011;!Liu! &! Cheng,! 2011;! Gao! &! Liu,! 2012;!
Vialle,!Song!&!Zhang,!2012;!Suttmeier,!Yao!&!Tan,!2006).!!The!literature!on!catching'up!
is! extensive! but! generally! holds! that! a! nation! lacking! the! most! advanced! technology!
must!adopt!a!dual!strategy!of!learning!from!more!advanced!countries!while!at!the!same!
time! building! indigenous! capacity! and! innovation.! ! Ernst! has! applied! this! general!
framework!to!China’s!standardization!strategy,!noting!that!it!“combines!the!adoption!of!
international!standards!with!the!insertion! of! indigenous!innovations!into!domestic!and!
international!standards”!(Ernst,!2011).!
!
! China’s!catch'up!approach!has!been!applied!with!varying!degrees!of! success.! ! It!
has! been! widely! reported! that! China! has! produced! more! standards! than! any! other!
country! in! the! world! (Ernst,! 2011).! ! But,! as! noted! by! Breznitz! and! Murphree,! most! of!
these!standards!are!copies!of!existing!international!standards!(2012).!!China’s!twenty!or!
so! L"-(%1%! standardization! efforts! have! related! to! technologies! such! as! audiovisual!
compression! (AVS),! home! networking! (IGRS),! wireless! network! encryption! (WAPI)! and!
3G!wireless!telecommunications!(TD'SCDMA).! ! China’s! standardization!infrastructure!is!
heavily!dependent!on!a!number!of!governmental!agencies!characterized!by!overlapping!
authority! and! internal! rivalries! (Ernst,! 2011,! Breznitz! &! Murphree,! 2012).! ! Standards!
development!is!carried!out!through!a!variety!of!technical!bodies,!but!all!such!work!must!
be!authorized!and!approved!either!by!the!Standards!Administration!of!China!(SAC),!the!
Ministry!for!Industry! Information!Technology!(MIIT)! or! another!high! level! agency.!As!a!
general! matter! it! has! proven! difficult! for! foreign! firms! to! participate! meaningfully! in!
Chinese!standards!groups!(Breznitz!&!Murphree,!2012).!
!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!9!
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!
!
! China’s! experience! with! wireless! standardization! is! emblematic! of! its! historical!
approach! to! standardization.! As! noted! above,! China! lacked! strong! technology!
capabilities!during!the! development!of!international! 1G! and!2G! wireless! standards.!!In!
the!case!of!both!GSM!and!cdmaOne,!Chinese!carriers!and!the!government!balked!at!the!
high!patent!rates! charged! by!foreign!vendors.!!Thus,! by! the!time!that!international! 3G!
standards! were! being! developed! at! 3GPP,! China! decided! that! it! should! embark! on! its!
own!3G!standardization!program!(Ernst,!2011,!Gao,!2012;!Vialle,!Song!&!Zhang,!2012).!
!
! China’s! 3G! standardization! effort! resulted! in! the! creation! of! TD'SCDMA,! which!
was!developed!by!the!Chinese!Academy!of!Telecommunications!Research!(CATT)!and!its!
state'owned!affiliate!Datang!in!collaboration!with!German!equipment!vendor!Siemens.!!
China!submitted!TD'SCDMA!to!ITU!for!recognition!as!an!international!standard!over!the!
objection!of!U.S.!and!European!interests,!and!the!ITU!approved!TD'SCDMA!in!2000.!!!TD'
SCDMA!is!now!deployed!throughout!China!with! more! than! 68!million!subscribers!as!of!
mid'2012,! but! has! gained! little,! if! any,! traction! internationally! (Vialle,! Song! &! Zhang,!
2012).! Though! TD'SCDMA! is! not! generally! viewed! as! a! technological! success,! the! TD'
SCDMA! experience! appears! to! have! achieved! China’s! goal! of! building! significant!
domestic!technical!expertise,!patent!leverage!and!manufacturing!capacity!for!advanced!
telecommunications!products!(Vialle,!Song!&!Zhang,!2012).!
!
! China’s! “catching! up”! strategy! has! not! been! limited,! however,! to! the!
development!of! indigenous! standards.! ! China!has! also! sought! to! increase!its! presence!
and!influence!in!foreign! standards! groups,!and!to!be! viewed! by!the!world!as! a! shaper,!
rather!than! a! receiver,!of!standards!(Ernst,!2011).!!Exemplifying!this!approach,! Huawei,!
China’s!largest!manufacturer!of!networking!equipment,! is! reportedly! a!member!of!120!
different!international!standardization!bodies.!
!
J=) G,"+)+'3)1'($%'$()2(+'3+%3,)
!
^7@- M(+"2("+-6+*(L*2L)I*+)%(-*(L-MC!N-
!
The!Internet!Engineering!Task!Force!(IETF)!is!the!primary!international!forum!for!
the! development! of! Internet! architecture,! transport! and! security! protocols,!
specifications!and!standards!(Russell,!2014;!Whitt,!2013;!GAO,!2010;!Froomkin,!2003).7!
IETF! is! responsible! for! fundamental! Internet! protocols! including! Transmission! Control!
Protocol!(TCP),!Internet!Protocol!(IP!and!its!successor,!IPv6),!Hypertext!Transfer!Protocol!
(HTTP)!and!File!Transfer!Protocol!(FTP).!
!
The!IETF!grew!out!of!early!U.S.!government'academic!projects!that!designed!the!
basic!architecture!of!the!packet'switched! network! that! eventually! became! the! Internet!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
7!IETF! standards! describe! fea tures! at! and! below! the! “application”! layer.! ! Other! groups,! such! as! the!
Worldwide!Web!Consortium!(W3C),!are!concerned!with!standards!for!higher'level!Internet!features,!such!
as!the!Worldwide!Web!(e.g.,!HTML,!XML,!etc.)!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!10!
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!
!
(Russell,!2014).!Since!1992,!IETF’s!activities!have!been!conducted!under!the!auspices!of!
the! nonprofit! Internet! Society,! based! in! Reston,! Virginia! and! Geneva,! Switzerland.!
Despite!its!early! origins!as!a! U.S.! government!research!project,! the!architecture!of! the!
Internet,! and! the! standards! that! underlie! it,! have! evolved! in! a! manner! that! has! been!
largely! independent! of! governmental! oversight! (Russell,! 2014;! Ernst,! 2012,! Denardis!
2009).8!!
!
Participation! in! IETF! is! on! an! individual! basis,! though! many! firms! sponsor! the!
attendance! and! participation! of! their! employees! in! IETF! activities.! ! Historically,! IETF!
participants! have! been! employed! by! suppliers! of! networking! equipment! (e.g.,! Cisco,!
Juniper,! Huawei),! mobile! communications! devices! (e.g.,! Ericsson,! Nokia! Siemens),!
wireless!technologies!(e.g.,!Qualcomm,!Motorola),!telecommunications!equipment!(e.g.,!
Alcatel'Lucent),! cable! infrastructure! and! content! (e.g,! Comcast),! Internet! connectivity!
(e.g.,! NTT,! France! Telecom,! Deutsche! Telecom),! computing! equipment! (e.g.,! IBM,!
Hewlett'Packard)! and! online! services! (e.g.,! Google),! as! well! as! government! agencies!
(e.g.,! NASA,! NIST)! and! research! institutions! (e.g.,! MIT,! UCLA,! SRI,! Mitre,! Tsinghua).!!
Though! some! have! questioned! the! increasing! role! of! private! firms! in! Internet!
standardization,! most! agree! that! the! IETF! remains! a! relatively! open! and! cooperative!
body!(Whitt,!2013).!
!
IETF!remains!the!center!of!Internet!standards!development,!despite!attempts!by!
ITU!and!other!organizations!to!co'opt!some!of!this! activity! (Russell,! 2014;! Whitt,!2013;!
GAO,!2010).!!In!recent!years,!at!any!given!time,!over!a!hundred!different!working!groups!
have! been! operational! within! IETF! (Hoffman,! 2012).! ! IETF! is! famously! open! and!
transparent! (Whitt,! 2013;! Froomkin,! 2003;! Lessig,! 2001).! ! Almost! all! proceedings,!
documents!and!records!are!available!on!its!web!site!without!charge,!and!anyone!who!is!
interested! is! welcome! to! join! a! technical! group.! ! Documents! advance! through! the!
“standards! track”! based! on! open! consensus! processes! overseen! and! managed! by! a!
group!of!semi'elected!representatives! (see! Section!6.5!below).!!The! philosophy! of!IETF!
was!summarized!by!David!Clark,!an!early!Internet!pioneer,!in!a!1992!address:!“We!reject!
kings,!presidents!and!voting.!We!believe!in!rough!consensus!and!running!code"!(Russell,!
2014).!
!
As!an!organization!whose!participants!and!leaders!consist!primarily!of!engineers!
and! other! technologists,! IETF! has! a! distinctive,! individualist! culture! (Hoffman,! 2012,!
Froomkin,!2003).!!IETF!participants! have! been!described!as!“fiercely! independent”! and!
“anti'social”!(Hoffman,!2012),!and!gain!respect!primarily!through!their!technical!skill!and!
ability!to!persuade!others!of!the!superiority! of! their! technical!proposals.!!As!such,!IETF!
Internet!standardization!is! largely!a!“bottom'up”! process,! in!which! technical! proposals!
are!generated!by!individual!participants,!who!must!defend!and!advocate!their!proposals!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
8!This!is!not!to!say,!of!course,!that!various!governments!have!not!attempted!to!control!Internet!traffic!and!
content! within! their! borders! (Boas,! 2006;! Denardis,! 2009).! ! Be! this! as! it! may,! the! basic! protocols! that!
define!the!Internet!have!largely!remained!free!from!governmental!control.!
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!
both!in!written!e'mail!communications!and!at!in'person!IETF!meetings.!!All!documents!
and! proceedings! are! in! English.!!Despite! the! open! nature! of! IETF! proceedings,! a! large!
degree!of!deference!is!afforded!to!veteran!participants!who!have!proven!their!technical!
prowess.! These! individuals! assume! leadership! positions! within! the! organization,!
including!on!the!influential!Internet!Architecture!Board!(IAB)!which!has!been!referred!to!
as!the!“council!of!elders”!(Russell,!2014).!
!
!
^7?- 8*J*(W,-HJJ2%*$4-+%-M(+"2("+-6+*(L*2L,-
!
! There!was!early!interest!in!Internet!protocols!among!Japanese!academic!centers,!
particularly! the! Widely! Integrated! Distributed! Environment! (WIDE)! project! founded! in!
1986! at! Keio! University.! ! This! group! was! an! early! champion! of! IP'based! networks! in!
Japan,! and! engaged! with! Internet! researchers! in! the! U.S.! and! Europe.! The! early!
influence!of! Japanese! researchers!on! Internet!standardization! is! evidenced! by! the!fact!
that!an!important!1992!meeting!of!the!IAB!was!held!in!Kobe,!Japan!(Russell,!2014).!
!
! This!interest!in! Internet! standards,!however,!was!not!shared!by!NTT!or!the!bulk!
of!Japanese!industry.! Japan’s! Internet!policy! was! shaped!by!its! historical! experience!in!
the!telecommunications!arena.!! Just! as!NTT!favored!the!PDC! 2G! cellular!standard!over!
international!alternatives,!quality!of!service!issues!also!led!NTT!in!the!mid'1990s!to!favor!
data!transmission!technologies!perceived!as!more!reliable!than!the!open!protocols!that!
defined!the!Internet! (Cole,!2006).!!NTT!thus!invested!significant!resources!and!effort! in!
networks! that! operated! under! the! Integrated! Services! Digital! Network! (ISDN)! and!
Asynchronous!Transfer!Mode!(ATM)!protocols!using!fiber!optic!cable! (Cole,! 2006).! ! For!
this! reason,! Japanese! industry! was! not! involved! to! a! significant! degree! in! the! initial!
development! of! Internet! standards! and! protocols! (Denardis,! 2009;! Cole,! 2006).! ! The!
result!was!that!Japanese!manufacturers!such!as!NEC,!Fujitsu!and!Hitachi!were!unable!to!
compete!effectively! against!international! market!leaders! in!Internet! routers!and! other!
equipment,!and!were!increasingly!deciding!to! become! distributors! of!foreign!products.!!
Perhaps! in! an! effort! to! make! up! for! lost! time,! in! its! e'Japan! strategy! of! 2000! the!
Japanese! government! embraced! IPv6! as! a! national! priority! (Denardis,! 2009;! Kushida,!
2006).!!As! part!of!e'Japan,!the!government!announced!the!ambitious! goal!of!deploying!
IPv6!across!the!entire!country! by! 2005! (Denardis,! 2009).! ! And!while!Japanese!adoption!
of! 2G! and! 3G! mobile! technologies! lagged! the! U.S.! and! Europe,! its! deployment! of! the!
mobile!Internet!far!surpassed!that!of!other!countries.!!DoCoMo’s!popular!)F&%L"!mobile!
Internet!service!was!reported!to!have!had!46!million!subscribers!as!early!as!2001!(Cole,!
2006).! ! Moreover,! the! introduction! of! widespread! DSL! high'speed! data! service! to!
consumers! in! the! early! 2000s! resulted! in! significant! Internet! penetration! among!
consumers!(Kushida,!2006).!!Thus,!despite!delays!both!in!deploying!an!advanced!mobile!
communications! network! based! on! international! standards! and! in! adopting! IP'based!
data! communications! protocols,! Japan! is! today! among! the! most! Internet'connected!
countries.!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!12!
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!
! With! respect! to! Internet! policy,! Korea! initially! did! not! lag! far! behind! Japan.! In!
2001,!the!Korean! government! announced!an!IPv6!strategy!similar!to!that!articulated!in!
the!e'Japan!program.! ! The! Korean!government!committed!significant!funds!toward!the!
deployment! of! IPv6! networks! across! the! country! and! provided! financial! support! to!
domestic! manufacturers! of! IPv6! equipment! for! export! (Denardis,! 2009).! ! Korean!
participation!in!Internet!standardization!was!initially! led! by! the!government!during!the!
period!that!it! also! supported!2G!standardization! efforts!(Jho,!2007).!!This! participation!
came!from!entities! such!as!ETRI,! the! Korea!Information! Security! Center!(KISA)! and! the!
Korean!Telecommunications!Technology!Association!(TTA).!!!
!
!The!most!significant!Korean!player!in!Internet!standardization!today!is!Samsung.!!
Samsung! is! a! global! leader! in! the! deployment! of! Internet'enabled! smart! phones! and!
other! devices,! as! well! as! one! of! the! largest! recipients! of! patents! covering! advanced!
technology! features.9!! Samsung! accounts! for! most! of! the! Korean! participation! in! IETF!
and!other!Internet!standardization!efforts.!!!
!
^7A- :4)(*W,-HJJ2%*$4-+%-M(+"2("+-6+*(L*2L,-
-
!Unlike!China’s!“indigenous!innovation”!approach!to!3G!wireless!standardization!
and!TD'SCDMA,!China!did!not!attempt!to!build!a!China'specific!version!of!the!Internet.10!!
Rather,!Chinese!firms!and! consumers! flocked!to!the!public!Internet! that! ran!over!well'
established!IETF'developed!protocols.! ! With!more!than! 500! million!Internet'connected!
individuals!as!of!mid'2012,!China!had!more!Internet!users!than!any!other!country!in!the!
world!(nearly!double!those! of! the! United!States,!in!second!place! with! 245!million)!and!
represents!nearly!a!quarter!of!all!Internet!users!worldwide!(IWS,!2012).!!!!
!
! Given! its! potentially! vast! user! base,! from! an! early! date! China! was! particularly!
concerned!about!IP!address!depletion.!!This!concern,!which!was!shared!by!many!around!
the! world,! was! exacerbated! in! China! and! other! Asian! countries! by! the! perceived!
inequitable! initial! allocations! of! IP! address! blocks! in! the! 1980s.! ! One! commonly'
repeated!complaint!was!that!U.S.!institutions!such!as!Stanford!University!were!assigned!
more! IP! addresses! (16! million)! than! all! of! China! (Denardis,! 2009).! ! While! the! address!
assignment!imbalance! was!eventually! corrected,!the! pending!shortage! of!IP! addresses!
led!to!an!early!interest!within!China,!as!it!did!in!Japan!and!Korea,!in!IPv6!development!
and!deployment.!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
9!In!2012,!Samsung! was! awarded!5,043!new!U.S.!utility!patents,!more! than! any! other! single! company!in!
the!world!besides!IBM!(USPTO,!2013).!
10!China’s! so'called! “Great! Firewall”,! which! enables! governmental! oversight! and! control! over! Internet!
traffic,!is!in!effect!a!sophisticated!packet!inspection!and!filtering!system!that!does!not!fundamentally!alter!
the!basic!protocols!that!enable!Internet!traffic!(Clayton,!Murdoch!&!Watson,!2006).!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!13!
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!
!
! China!began!IPv6!testing!in!1998!and!announced!a!national!IPv6!strategy!in!2003.!!
It!attracted! global! attention! when! it!announced! that! all! web! sites!associated! with! the!
2008!Beijing!Olympics!would!function!over!IPv6.!!Academic!institutions!such!as!Tsinghua!
University!played!an! early!role!in!rolling!out!the!Internet!in!China!and!engaged!actively!
in!IPv6!and!other!standards!development!projects!at!IETF!(Wu,!et!al.,!2006).!!!
!
! This!is! not!to! say,! however,!that! China’s!participation! in!IETF! has! been!without!
controversy.!!One! recent! disagreement! arose! in! connection! with! the! Multi'Protocol!
Label!Switching!(MPLS)!protocol.!!A!technical!proposal!relating!to!MPLS!made!jointly!by!
Chinese! and! other! contributors! was! rejected! by! the! relevant! IETF! working! group! over!
the!objection!of!the!proposers!(MPLS,!2010).!!The!disappointed!proposers!then!brought!
their!alternative!variant!of!MPLS!to!ITU!for!approval!as!an!international!standard.!!Work!
continued!at!ITU!until!a!late'night!contested!vote!in!March!2011,!in!which!China!and!six!
other!countries!voted!to!approve!the!proposal!over!the!opposition!of!the!U.S.,!UK,!Israel!
and!Canada!(van!Beijnum,!2011).!!Tensions!linger!over!the!incident,!which!required!the!
involvement!of!high'level!leadership!at!both!IETF!and!ITU.!
!
K=) L>+'("(+("#$)G,,$,,0$'()-.)G,"+')/'&+&$0$'()"')1/HM)
!
! In!this!Section,!we!report!the!results!of!our!analysis!of!publicly'available!metrics!
of! IETF! engagement! by! participants! from! Japan,! Korea! and! China! in! four! categories:!
meeting!attendance,!patent!disclosures,!document!authorship!and!leadership.!!
!
_7@- MC!N-V""+)(;-<%$*+)%(,-
!
! While! much! of! the! work! of! IETF! is! done! via! e'mail! and! online! discussion! fora,!
IETF! holds! three11!“live”! meetings! per! year! at! which! significant! presentation! of! ideas,!
polling!and! debate!occurs.!!Due!to!the!U.S.! origins!of!the!organization,!each!of!the!first!
26!such!meetings!(1986'1993)!were!held!in!the!U.S.,!save!one!held!in!Canada.!!In!more!
recent!years!the!physical!location!of!such!meetings!has!been!determined!on!the!basis!of!
numerous! factors! including! availability! and! cost! of! meeting! space,! availability! of!
corporate! meeting! “sponsors”,! location! and! timing! of! related! industry! events,! and!
difficulty/cost!of! travel!for!participants!(Hinden,!2009).!! With!respect!to!this!last!factor,!
in!particular,!an!effort!has!been!made!to!rotate!meeting!locations!to!alleviate!travel!and!
visa!burdens!for!attendees!who!are!not!based!in!North!America.!!!
!
! Most! IETF! meetings! are! also! “hosted”! by! a! local! institution! that! usually!
contributes! to! the! financial! cost! of! the! meeting,! provides! network! and! connectivity!
resources,!and!otherwise!facilitates!the!conduct! of! the! meeting.!!Identifying!a!meeting!
host! is! usually! a! critical! determinant! of! meeting! location.! ! Meeting! hosts! are! typically!
large!firms!such!as!Cisco,!Ericsson,!Siemens,!Comcast,!Alcatel'Lucent!and!Microsoft.!!The!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
11!During!the!first!two!years!of!IETF’s!existence!(1986!and!1987),!four!meetings!per!year!were!held.!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!14!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
financial!contribution!of!the!meeting!host!is!typically!several!hundred!thousand!dollars.!!
Beginning! in! the! mid'2000s,! IETF! has! also! sought! additional! “sponsors”! to! offset! the!
costs!of!its!meetings.!!The!financial!and!resource!commitments!of!sponsors!vary!based!
on! assigned! tiers! (Platinum,! Gold,! Silver,! Bronze,! Other),! with! the! lowest! tiers!
contributing!modest!services!and/or!financial!commitments!of!a!few!thousand!dollars.!
!
! Table! 1! shows! the! regional! distribution! of! all! IETF! meeting! locations! through!
2012.!
!!
H+ND$)<)
1/HM)C$$("'&)I-?+("-',)O<PQKR@S<@T)
A$&"-')
1/HM)C$$("'&,)
U.S./Canada!
66!
Europe!
13!
Asia!
5!
Australia!
1!
TOTAL!
85!
!
! Table!2!shows!the!dates,!locations!and!sponsorship!of!the!five!past!and!two!
planned!Asian!IETF!meetings.12!
!
H+ND$)@)
G,"+')1/HM)C$$("'&)I-?+("-',U27-',-%,;"7)
V$+%)
I-?+("-')
W-,()
X(;$%)27-',-%,)
2002!
Yokohama,!Japan!
Fujitsu!&!WIDE!
none!
2004!
Seoul,!Korea!
Korea!Telecom!&!
Samsung!
none!
2009!
Hiroshima,!Japan!
WIDE!
.#*+)('&:!Internet!Initiative!Japan,!NTT!
Communications!
!
\%#L:!Fujitsu,!JPRS,!KDDI,!NEC,!NTTWest,!
Softbank!
!
6)#1"2:!AlaxaiA,!Cisco,!CTC!
!
`2%(I":!BBIX,!Hitachi,!Internet!mf,!JP!NIC,!Net!
One!Systems,!Nissho!Electronics,!Toshiba!
!
a+4"2:!Ricoh!
2010!
Beijing,!China!
Tsinghua!University!
.#*+)('&:!Cisco,!Huawei,!ZTE!
\%#L:!Juniper!
!
6)#1"2:!H2C,!China!Telecom,!China!Mobile!
!
`2%(I":!Ruijie!Networks!
!
a+4"2:!APNIC!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
12 IETF!47!was!held!in!Adelaide,!Australia!in!March,!2000.!!While!Australia!is!not!formally!within!Asia,!some!
refer!to!the!Adelaide!meeting!as!the!first!“Asian”!IETF!(Hoffman,!2012).
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!15!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
V$+%)
I-?+("-')
W-,()
X(;$%)27-',-%,)
2011!
Taipei,!Taiwan!
Taiwan!Network!
Information!Center!
(TWNIC)!
.#*+)('&:!Bur.!For.!Trade!
!
\%#L:!DNI!
!
a+4"2:!Chunghwa!Tel.,!Comcast,!Indus.!Tech.!
Research!Inst.,!Microsoft,!Ministry!of!
Education,!Ring!Line!Corp.,!Natl.!Ctr.!for!High!
Performance!Computing,!IPMirror,!Dept.!of!
Info.!&!Tourism,!Net'Chinese.com!
2014!
(pending)!
Honolulu,!US13!
Cisco!
TBD!
2015!
(pending)!
Yokohama,!Japan!
WIDE!
TBD!
!
As!Table!2!indicates,!while!no!IETF!meetings!were!held!in!Asia!during!the!first!18!
years! of! the! organization’s! existence,! since! 2002! meetings! were! held! in! Asia! with!
increasing!frequency.!!Within!the!last!five!years,!three!of!IETF’s!nine!meetings!were!held!
in!Asia,!with!two!more!planned!in!the!next!three!years.!!!
!
! The! increase! in! Asian! meetings! at! IETF! is! a! significant! trend,! particularly! since!
travel! to! Asia! is! expensive! and! time'consuming! for! North! American! participants! (who!
still!represent!the! majority! of!participants! (though! decreasingly!so)).!! This! shift!toward!
Asia! may! indicate! a! commitment! by! IETF! both! to! increase! Asian! participation! in! the!
organization!and!to!accommodate!its!significant!existing!Asian!participant!base.!
!
! Hosting! and! sponsorship! of! IETF! meetings! is! also! interesting.! ! As! noted! above,!
most!IETF!meetings!in! North! America! and!Europe!have!been! sponsored! by! large!firms,!
either!product!vendors!or! service! providers.!!This!pattern! is! also!reflected!in!the! Seoul!
and!Taipei! meetings! hosted,! respectively,! by! Korea! Telecom! and! Samsung! (Seoul)! and!
Taiwan! Network! Information! Center! (the! principal! Taiwanese! domain! name! registrar).!!
In!Japan!and!China,!however,!sponsorship!has!been!primarily!from!the!academic!sector.!!
WIDE,!an!academic!collaborative!project,!sponsored! both! Japanese!IETF!meetings!(one!
in! conjunction! with! Fujitsu)! and! has! committed! to! sponsor! the! upcoming! Yokohama!
meeting!in! 2015,! and! Tsinghua! University!sponsored! the!2010! IETF!meeting! in! Beijing.!!
While!numerous!corporate!and!governmental!sponsors!for!each!meeting!were!obtained!
at! lower! levels,! it! is! significant! that! the! primary! host! of! the! Japanese! and! Chinese!
meetings!was!not! a! dominant!market!participant! such! as!NTT,!in! the!case!of! Japan,! or!
China! Telecom,! China! Mobile! or! Huawei,! in! the! case! of! China.! ! Each! of! these! entities!
provided!support!at!lower!levels,! but! did! not! wish! to! be!seen!as!the!meeting’s!primary!
backer,! perhaps! indicating! a! lingering! reluctance! to! embrace! open! Internet! standards!
too! wholeheartedly! in! view! of! prior! commitments! to! proprietary! national!
telecommunications!standards.!!
!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
13!Though! Honolulu! is! in! the! United! States,! the! location! is! often! viewed! as! “convenient”! to! Asian!
attendees!in!terms!of!travel!and!logistics.!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!16!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
! One! notable! exception! to! this! trend! is! Huawei’s! sponsorship! of! the! 2013! IETF!
meeting! in! Vancouver,! a! non'Asian! venue.! ! This! meeting! marks! the! first! time! that! an!
Asian!organization!has!hosted!a!non'Asian!IETF!meeting,!and!may!signal!Huawei’s!desire!
to!be!viewed!as!a!global!shaper!of!Internet!standards.!
!
_7?- MC!N-V""+)(;-H++"(L*($"-
!
! Much!of!the!technical!work!and!administrative!business!of!the!IETF!is!conducted!
at! the! three! annual! meetings! described! in! Section! 7.1! above.! ! Participation! in! these!
meetings!is!on!an!individual!basis.!That!is,!individuals,!not!firms,!register!to!attend!these!
meetings,! though! firms! often! pay! for! their! employees’! attendance! and! participation.!!!
The! first! IETF! meetings! were! attended! by! only! a! handful! of! U.S.'based! individuals,!
primarily! from! academic! research! centers! and! government! agencies.! Per'meeting!
attendance!steadily!rose!until!peaking!in!the!late!1990s!and!early!2000s!at!around!2000!
attendees!and!has,!since!2005,!remained!relatively!stable!at!around!1200!attendees!per!
meeting.!!!
!
Figure!1!shows!the!average!number!of!attendees!at!all!IETF!meetings!from!1986!
through!early!2013.!
!
M"&>%$)<)
!
Because! attendance! at! physical! meetings! requires! a! commitment! of! time! and!
resources,! meeting! attendance! has! been! considered! a! good! indicator! of! individual!
engagement! with! IETF.! ! The! organization! recognizes! the! significance! of! meeting!
attendance! by! conditioning! eligibility! for! certain! leadership! positions! on! consistent!
meeting! attendance.! ! For! example,! in! order! to! be! eligible! for! a! position! on! the!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!17!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
Nominating! Committee! that! selects! members! of! the! IESG! and! IAB! (see! Section! 6.5!
below),! an! individual! must! have! attended! at! least! three! of! the! last! five! IETF! meetings!
(Galvin,!2004).!
!
Figures! 2.a! and! 2.b! illustrate! regional! representation! at! recent! IETF! meetings!
held!in!North!America!(Orlando!2013)!and!Europe!(Paris!2012).!!Not!surprisingly,!these!
figures! show! significant! fluctuations! in! attendance! by! North! American! and! European!
participants!based!on!meeting!location.!!Asian!participation!remains!relatively!constant,!
however,!as!between!North!American!and!European!meeting!locations!(holding!steadily!
in!the!range!of!20%).!!Given!that!travel!burdens!from!Asia!to!North!America!and!Europe!
are!comparable,!these!results!are!also!not!surprising.!
!
)M"&>%$)@=+)M"&>%$)@=N)
!!
!
!
Figure!3!illustrates,!by!IETF!meeting,!attendance!by!Asian!participants!from!2000!
through!early!2013,!as!a!percentage!of!overall!IETF!meeting!attendance.!
!
M"&>%$)B)
!
!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!18!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
The!attendance! spikes! that! occur! in!2002,! 2004,!2009,! 2010! and!2011! coincide!
with! the! five! IETF! meetings! held! in! Asia! (see! Section! 6.2.1).! ! Because! attendance! at! a!
particular! meeting! usually! includes! substantial! numbers! of! local! engineers,! educators,!
journalists!and!students!who!are!not!“regular”!IETF!participants,!these!meetings!receive!
disproportionately! high! attendance! from! host! country! residents.! Combined! in'country!
attendance! and! attendance! from! nearby! Asian! countries! approached! 50%! at! the! five!
Asian!IETF!meetings.!
!
As!shown! in!Figure!3,!Asian!attendance!at! IETF,!other!than!at!Asian!meetings,!is!
generally! slightly! below! 20%! of! total! attendance.! ! However,! on! an! individual! country!
basis,! Japan,! Korea! and! China! each! rank! among! the! top! ten! countries! by! IETF!
attendance.!! Table! 4!lists!IETF!attendance!at!the!recent!Atlanta! 2012!meeting,!showing!
the!top!10!countries!represented:!
!
H+ND$)F)
G(($'3+'?$)+()1/HM)QJ)OG(D+'(+)@S<@T)
H-7)<S):->'(%"$,)A$7%$,$'($3)
A+'Y)
:->'(%E)
G(($'3$$,)
1!
United!States!
681!
@)
:;"'+)
<BZ)
B)
6+7+')
QJ)
4!
France!
45!
5!
Great!Britain!
44!
6!
Canada!
40!
7!
Germany!
39!
Q)
9-%$+)
@K)
9!
Finland!
21!
9!
Netherlands!
21!
10!
Sweden!
17!
!
Other!
154!
!
Total!
1350!
!
!
Figure!4!shows!average!Asian!(Japanese,!Korean!and!Chinese)!attendance!at!IETF!
meetings!from!2000!to!2012,!setting!aside!the!five!IETF!meetings!held!in!Asia.!!This!data!
is!useful!because!it!indicates!Asian!commitment!to!IETF!activities!when!significant!travel!
(to! North! America! or! Europe)! is! involved,! without! the! “spikes”! introduced! by! local!
attendance!at!Asian'based!meetings!(Fig.!3).!
!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!19!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
M"&>%$)F)
!
!
!Figure! 4! highlights! several! notable! trends.! ! First,! Japanese! and! Korean!
participation!in!IETF,!while!remaining!significant,!have!steadily!declined!since!2000.!!The!
average!Japanese! attendance!rate! in!2000! was!166! individuals! per! meeting! (excluding!
Asian! meetings),! giving! Japan! representation! at! IETF! second! only! to! the! U.S.! ! But! by!
2012!average!annual!Japanese!participation!fell!to!86.!!Thus,!while!Japanese!attendance!
at! IETF! is! still! strong,! the! commitment! of! Japanese! firms! to! the! IETF! process! has!
dwindled!since!the! height!of!IPv6!standardization.!!Average!Korean!attendance! in! 2000!
was! 43! individuals! per! meeting,! which! fell! to! 30! by! 2012,! a! decline! of! 30%.! ! These!
participation! levels! suggest! that! Korean! firms! continue! to! have! a! robust! interest! in!
Internet! standardization,! placing! Korea! in! the! top! 10! countries! represented! at! IETF,!
though!this!interest!has!clearly!decreased!in!recent!years.!!Chinese!attendance!at! IETF,!
on!the! other! hand,!has!risen! sharply.!!From! a!relatively!insignificant! presence!in!2000,!
with!an! average! of!only! 6! attendees!per! meeting,! average!Chinese! attendance! rose!to!
25! in! 2005,! and! then! jumped! from! 45! in! 2008! to! 111! in! 2009.! ! In! 2012,! Chinese!
attendance!at!IETF!averaged!145,!making!China!one!of!the!most!significant!jurisdictions!
in!terms! of! overall! IETF! attendance,! surpassing! Japan!by! a!significant! margin! and! now!
second!only!to!the!U.S.!!
!
_7>- MC!N-.*+"(+-b),$#%,'2",-
!
! To!avoid!situations!in!which!firms!participating!in!the!development!of!a!standard!
secretly!obtain!patents!covering! the! standard!and!then!seek! to! collect! patent!royalties!
after! the! standard! is! widely! adopted! (a! situation! referred! to! as! patent! “hold'up”! or!
“ambush”! (FTC! 2007,! Contreras! 2013b),! many! SDOs! including! IETF! require! that! their!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!20!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
participants!declare!any!patents!that!are!likely!to!be!essential!to!the!implementation!of!
technologies! covered! by! a! standard! (IETF,! 2005).! One! may! thus! reason! that! increased!
participation! in! IETF! standardization! activities! should! lead! to! increased! patent!
disclosures!at!IETF,!and!that!increased!participation!by!Asian!companies!should!lead!to!
greater!numbers!of!patent!disclosures!by!Asian!companies.!
!
! To!test!this!hypothesis,!we!reviewed!all!patent!disclosures!submitted!to!the!IETF!
intellectual!property!database!(datatracker.ietf.org)!from!2001!through!2012.14!!Table!5!
details!the!disclosures! made!by!Asian!participants15!by!year,!as!well!as!total! disclosures!
contained!in!the!IETF!database.!
!
Table!5!
G,"+'):-07+'E)*+($'()!",?D-,>%$,)+()1/HM)
!
!
@SS<)
@SS@)
@SSB)
@SSF)
@SSJ)
@SSK)
@SSZ)
@SSQ)
@SSP)
@S<S)
@S<<)
@S<@)
H-(+D)
H-(+D)1/HM)
BF)
J@)
ZK)
PP)
<@Q)
Q<)
<@F)
<S@)
<K<)
<Q@)
<KS)
@<<)
<F<S)
Huawei!
!
!
!
!
!
4!
2!
!
4!
35!
18!
38!
101!
ZTE!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
5!
5!
China!Mobil!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
2!
2!
Other!CN!
!
!
!
!
!
1!
1!
2!
!
!
!
4!
8!
!!!Total!CN!
S)
S)
S)
S)
S)
J)
B)
@)
F)
BJ)
<Q)
FP)
<<K)
Fujitsu!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
3!
!
1!
2!
!
6!
Hitachi!
!
!
!
!
!
!
4!
!
!
2!
2!
!
8!
NTT!
1!
!
1!
!
2!
1!
2!
!
!
1!
!
1!
9!
Sony!
!
!
!
1!
1!
!
!
1!
!
1!
1!
!
5!
Toshiba!
1!
1!
!
!
1!
2!
!
!
!
!
1!
!
6!
DoCoMo!
!
1!
1!
!
2!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
4!
Other!JP!
1!
1!
2!
!
!
!
1!
1!
1!
2!
1!
1!
11!
!!!!Total!JP!
B)
B)
F)
<)
K)
B)
Z)
J)
<)
Z)
Z)
@)
FP)
Samsung!
!
!
!
1!
1!
2!
1!
!
!
!
!
!
5!
Other!Korea!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
1!
!
!
!
1!
!!!!Total!KR!
S)
S)
S)
<)
<)
@)
<)
S)
<)
S)
S)
S)
K)
!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
14!The!online!IETF!patent!disclosure!database!contains!three! types!of!disclosures:!!;"("2*#!(which!do!not!
identify! any! specific! patent! and! are! thus! not! compliant! with! IETF’s! disclosure! rules),! ,J"$)3)$!(which!
identify! specific! patents! in! accordance! with! IETF’! disclosure! rules),! and! +4)2L- J*2+/!(in! which! an! IETF!
participant!may!identify!patents!held!by!a!third!party).!!We!reviewed!only!specific!disclosures,!which!form!
the! vast! majority! of! IETF! patent!disclosures!and!which! are! the! only! type!of! disclosure! that! has! a! direct!
bearing!on!participation!in!IETF.!
15!Unlike!the!broader!IETF!participation!data!summarized!in!Section!6.1,!which!included!participants!from!
numerous!Asian!countries!in!addition!to!Japan,!Korea!and!China,!the!only!Asian!countries!represented!by!
patent!disclosures!during!the!period!studied!were!Japan,!Korea!and!China.!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!21!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
Figures! 5! illustrates! these! data! as! a! percentage! of! overall! IETF! patent! disclosures.!!As!
shown,! Korean! firms! made! very! few! patent! disclosures! over! the! period! studied,!
indicating!a!general!lack!of!patenting!activity!in!the!area!of!IETF!standards.!!Virtually!all!
Korean!patent!disclosures!have!been!filed!by!Samsung.!!Japanese!disclosures!have!been!
made!at!a!relatively!steady!rate!and!have!been!spread!more!or!less!evenly!over!a!field!of!
approximately!six!companies,!with!the!largest!share!filed!by!NTT.!!
!!
M"&>%$)J)
G,"+')*+($'()!",?D-,>%$,)+()1/HM)O@SS<R@S<@T)
O[)-.)(-(+D)3",?D-,>%$,T)
)
!
Chinese! firms! made! no! patent! disclosures! at! all! before! 2006.! ! From! 2006! to!
2009,! Huawei! began! to! make! regular! patent! disclosures! at! modest! levels! (0! to! 4!
disclosures! per! year).! ! But! in! 2010,! Huawei! began! an! aggressive! program! of! patent!
disclosure,!filing!35,!18!and!38!disclosures!in!each!of!2010,!2011!and!2012,!respectively,!
representing! 19%,! 11%! and! 23%! of! all! patent! disclosures! filed! during! such! years.! ! In!
2012,!ZTE!and!China!Mobile!also!began!to!file!patent!disclosures!at!IETF,!and!it!appears!
that!this!level!of!activity!has!continued.!
!
These! results! coincide! with! overall! trends! in! IETF! participation! by! Japanese,!
Korean! and! Chinese! individuals,! though! the! significant! increase! in! Chinese! patent!
disclosures!lags!the!increase!in!Chinese!attendance!by!approximately!one!year.!!This!lag!
can! potentially! be! explained! by! the! time! required! for! IETF! participants! to! become!
engaged!in!the!highly!technical!work!of!the!organization!and!to!develop!and!file!patent!
applications!covering!products.!
!
!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!22!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
_7A- b%$'&"(+-H'+4%2,4)J-
!
! The! IETF! standardization! process! depends! on! the! submission! of! written!
proposals!(Internet'Drafts)!by!participants!for!review,!discussion,!revision!and!approval!
(or!rejection)! by!IETF!working!groups!and,!eventually,!the!IESG!(Hoffman,!2012).!!Many!
such!documents! are!submitted! by! multiple! collaborators,! often! employed! by! different!
organizations.!!!
!
! Table!6!lists!the!top!10!countries!(plus!Korea)!from!which!IETF!document!authors!
originate,!together!with!the!total! number! of!IETF!documents!(both!Internet'Drafts! and!
RFCs)! associated! with! authors! from! each! such! country.!!This! data! is! informative,! but!
because!it!extends!back! to! the! earliest!days!of!the! Internet,! when! standardization!was!
dominated!by!U.S.!participants,!the!current!influence!of!Asian!participants!appears!to!be!
understated.!!Nevertheless,!China’s!appearance!in!fourth!place!on!this!list!is!impressive,!
given!that,!as!shown!in!Section!6.2!above,!Chinese!participation!in!IETF!did!not!begin!in!
appreciable! numbers! until! 2005.! ! The! fact! that! Chinese! authors! are! associated! with!
more!documents! than! those!from!long'time!participants!from!countries!such!as! France!
and!Canada!demonstrates!China’s!growing!impact!on!Internet!standardization.!
!
H+ND$)K)
\>0N$%)-.)1/HM)!-?>0$'(,)]"(;)G>(;-%,).%-0)+):->'(%E)O<PKQR@S<BT)
A+'Y)
:->'(%E<K)
!-?>0$'()
G>(;-%,)
1!
United!States!
6974!
2!
Great!Britain!
760!
3!
Germany!
591!
F)
:;"'+)
JFP)
5!
France!
528!
6!
Finland!
510!
7!
Canada!
488!
Q)
6+7+')
BPQ)
9!
Sweden!
317!
10!
Belgium!
194!
<P)
9-%$+)
ZK)
!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
16!63!countries!in!total!are!represented.!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!23!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
! Table!7!presents!author'by'country!data!for!“recent”!RFCs!(from!RFC!5420!(Feb.!
2009)! through! RFC! 6731! (Dec.! 2012)),! as! well! as! selected! organizations! from! such!
countries!that!employed!substantial!numbers!of!RFC!authors.!
!
H+ND$)Z)
\>0N$%)-.)A$?$'()AM:,)]"(;)G>(;-%,).%-0)+):->'(%E)+'3))
2$D$?($3)X%&+'"4+("-',)
AM:)
A+'Y)
:->'(%E<Z)
AM:)
G>(;-%,)
2$D$?($3)X%&+'"4+("-',)+'3)AM:)G>(;-%,)
1!
United!States!
1052!
Cisco!(207),!Juniper!(38),!Google!(28),!AT&T!(22),!
Microsoft!(18),!IBM!(18),!Comcast!(17),!Alcatel'Lucent!
(15),!MIT(13),!BBN!(13),!Qualcomm!(12),!Intel!(11),!
NSA!(10)!
2!
Great!Britain!
199!
BT!(8)!
3!
France!
150!
Alcatel!(38),!France!Telecom'Orange!(23),!Inria!(13)!
4!
Finland!
145!
Nokia!(18)!
5!
Germany!
140!
Nokia!Siemens!(12),!Deutsche!Telecom!(10)!
6!
Canada!
122!
Nortel!(7)!
Z)
:;"'+)
<<S)
W>+]$")OJZT8)^H/)OPT8):;"'+)C-N"D$)OPT)
Q)
6+7+')
PP)
\HH)OBFT8)\/:)O<BT8)9!!1)O<ST8)*+'+,-'"?)OJT8)2-'E)OJT)
9!
Sweden!
68!
Ericsson!(57)!
10!
Belgium!
60!
!
@S)
9-%$+)
<F)
912G)O<ST8)2+0,>'&)OJT)
!
! Table! 7,! which! presents! data! during! the! last! four! years,! represents! a! period!
during!which! China’s! involvement! in! IETF! was! substantial! (avoiding! earlier! periods!
heavily! weighted! toward! U.S.! and! European! participation).! ! Table! 7! also! differs! from!
Table!6!in!that!it!reflects!data!only!for!RFCs,!the!“standards”!published!by!IETF,!and!not!
all! IETF! documents,! which! also! include! Internet'Drafts! (see! below).! ! This! distinction! is!
important,! because! virtually! anything! can! be! proposed! as! an! Internet'Draft,! whereas!
publication!of!a!document!as!an!RFC!requires!community!consensus!on!the!merits!of!the!
proposal!and!willingness!by!the!IESG!to!associate!IETF’s!name!with!a!particular!technical!
approach.18!
!
! For! these! reasons,! the! relative! rankings! of! Japan! and! China! are! significant.! ! As!
shown!in! Section!6.2!above,!China!far!outstripped! Japanese!participation!in!IETF!during!
the!last!four!years! (average! attendance! in! 2012!for!China!was!145,!compared!to!86!for!
Japan).!!However,!Japanese!authorship!of!RFCs!is!only!slightly!below!that!of!Chinese!(99!
for!Japan!versus!110!for!China).!!One!possible!explanation!for!this!effect!is!that!Chinese!
attendees!at! IETF,!as! relative! newcomers,! have! not!yet! fully!gained! the!respect! of! the!
IETF!community,! and!have! therefor! not!been! as!successful! as!longer'term! participants!
(such!as!those!from!Japan)!in!getting!their!proposals!approved!as!RFCs.!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
17!47!countries!in!total!are!represented!by!the!Recent!RFC!author!count.!
18 Not!all! RFCs! are! technical! protocols! or! standards.! ! Many! RFCs! embody! IETF’s! internal! policies! and!
procedures.!!See,!e.g.,!RFC!2026,!RFC!3979!and!RFC!5378.
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!24!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
!
! The! data! presented! in! Table! 8! further! supports! this! hypothesis.! ! Table! 8! lists!
author'by'country!data!for!active!Internet'Drafts.19!! As! noted! above,! there!are!minimal!
requirements! for! submitting! a! document! to! IETF! as! an! Internet'Draft.! ! However,! if! an!
Internet'Draft! is! viewed! by! the! relevant! Working! Group! as! technically! inadequate,!
inferior!or!underdeveloped,!it!is!likely!that!the!document!will!not!advance!to!RFC!status.!
!
H+ND$)Q)
\>0N$%)-.)G?("#$)1'($%'$(R!%+.(,)]"(;)G>(;-%,).%-0)+):->'(%E)+'3))
2$D$?($3)X%&+'"4+("-',)
1R!)
A+'Y)
:->'(%E)
1R!,)
2$D$?($3)X%&+'"4+("-',)+'3)1R!)G>(;-%,)
1!
United!States!
1470!
Cisco!(293),!Juniper!(55),!Google!(38),!AT&T!(22),!
Microsoft!(33),!IBM!(18),!Comcast!(17),!Alcatel'Lucent!
(16),!Verizon!(13),!MIT(10),!Qualcomm!(12)!
2!
:;"'+!
F@Z!
W>+]$")O<FST8)^H/)OBQT8):;"'+)C-N"D$)O@JT8)H,"'&;>+)
O<ZT!
3!
France!
244!
Alcatel!(51),!France!Telecom'Orange!(36),!Inria!(9)!
4!
Germany!
239!
Nokia!Siemens!(10),!Deutsche!Telecom!(21)!
5!
Great!Britain!
208!
BT!(9)!
6!
Finland!
157!
Nokia!(10)!
7!
Canada!
142!
Nortel!(4)!
Q)
6+7+')
<JZ)
\HH)O@BT8)9!!1)O<KT8)\/:)O<ST8)W"(+?;")OKT8)M>_"(,>)OJT8)
`1!/)OFT)
9!
India!
101!
!
10!
Sweden!
101!
Ericsson!(68)!
<P)
9-%$+)
BS)
/HA1)O<ZT8)2+0,>'&)OJT)
!
! China!ranks! second!only! to! the! U.S.! in! quantity! of! authors! submitting!Internet'
Drafts,!with!427!Internet'Drafts!listing!Chinese!authors.!!Huawei!alone!is!responsible!for!
140!such!Internet'Drafts,!more! than! most! other! countries.!!Japanese! authors!are!listed!
on! only! 141! active! Internet'Drafts.! ! Yet,! as! shown! in! Table! 7,! Japanese! authors! are!
nearly!as!successful!as!Chinese!authors!in!publishing!their!proposals!as!RFCs.!!Again,!this!
data!supports!the! hypothesis! that,!while!Chinese! firms! and!participants!have!begun! to!
participate!in!IETF!in!substantial!numbers,!their!contributions!have!not!uniformly!earned!
the!respect!and!trust!of!the!larger!IETF!community.!
!
_7^- MC!N-<"*L"2,4)J-
!
! Another! key! indicator! of! engagement! in! IETF! is! the! assumption! of! leadership!
roles! within! the! organization.! ! As! with! most! SDOs,! IETF! maintains! only! a! small!
administrative!staff!that!tends!to!the!organization’s!day'to'day!operation.!!Essentially!all!
technical!work!is!performed!by!engineers!and!scientists!who!are!employed!by!firms!and!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
19 Internet'Drafts!are! considered!“active”!for! a!period!of!six! months! from!the!date!of! publication.!!After!
that,! an! Internet'Draft! must! either! advance! through! the! publication! of! a! revised! draft! or! advance! to!
publication!as!an!RFC.
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!25!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
institutions!with!a!strong!interest,!financial!or!otherwise,!in!Internet!standardization.!!An!
enterprise! that! encourages! its! employees! to! assume! time'consuming! leadership! roles!
indicates! both! support! for! the! organization’s! mission! and! a! desire! to! exert! greater!
influence!over!its!direction.!
!
! IETF! has! several! leadership! bodies.! The! Internet! Architecture! Board! (IAB)!
provides! oversight,! coordination! and! long'range! planning! for! IETF! activities,! with! a!
particular! focus! on! architectural! consistency! and! integrity! (Russell,! 2014,! Hoffman,!
2012).! ! The! Internet! Engineering! Steering! Group! (IESG)! is! responsible! for! “technical!
management! of! IETF! activities! and! the! Internet! standards! process”! (Hoffman,! 2012).!!
IESG!members!include!the!IETF’s!eight!“Area!Directors”!(positions!that!are!often!shared!
by!multiple!individuals)20,!the!IETF!Chair,!as!well!as!certain!"S-%3)$)%!members.!!Members!
of!the! IESG! and! IAB! are!selected! through! a! complex! nomination!process! that! rewards!
regular!participation,!familiarity!with!IETF!procedures!and!technical!reputation.!!
!
! Table!9!lists!IAB!and!IESG!positions!that!have!been!filled!by!individuals!employed!
by!Asian!entities,!together!with!their!years!of!appointment!and!employers.21!!!
!
H+ND$)P)
G,"+')A$7%$,$'(+("-')-')1/HM)I$+3$%,;"7)a-3"$,)H;%->&;)@S<B)
!
1Ga)
O/07D-E$%UV$+%)-.)
G77-"'(0$'(T)
1/2b)
O/07D-E$%UV$+%)-.)
G77-"'(0$'(T)
Japan!
NTT!(2003)!
IIJ!(2003)!
None!
Korea!
None!
None!
China!
Huawei!(2010)!
Tsinghua!Univ.!(2013)!
Huawei!(2009)22!
Huawei!(2009)!
!
In!addition! to!these! oversight!bodies,! IETF! has,! at! any! given! time,! more! than!a!
hundred!different!Working!Groups!(WGs).!!WGs!are!the!technical!bodies!within!the!IETF!
structure!that!develop! individual! protocols,!specifications!and!standards.!!Each!WG!has!
a! Chair! or! Co'Chairs! who! guide! the! WG’s! discussions,! moderate! debates! and! assess!
consensus! on! proposals.! ! Dieter! Ernst! reports! that! in! 2011,! Huawei! held! ten! IETF! WG!
Chair!or!Co'Chair!positions!(Ernst,!2011).!
!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
20!The!eight!IETF!Areas!are:!Applications,!Internet,! Operations! and! Management,!Real'Time!Applications!
and!Infrastructure,!Routing,!Security,!Transport!and!General.!
21!Unlike!our!measurement!of!overall!Asian!participation!in!IETF,!in!which!we!relied!in!some!cases!on!self'
reported! individual! country! of! origin,! our! identifica tion! of! Asian! leadership! positions! is! based! solely! on!
headquarters!location!of!the!individual’s!employer.!!This!distinction!is!important!because!neither!Huawei'
employed!member!of!the!IESG!is!a!Chinese!national!(one!being!a!native!of!the!U.S.,!the!other!UK).!
22!The!individual!left!Huawei’s!employment!in!2011.!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!26!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
These!findings! are!consistent! with!the! overall!patterns! of!Asian! engagement!in!
Internet!standards'setting.!Korean!firms!have!held!no!leadership!roles!in!IETF.!!Japanese!
involvement! peaked! in! the! early! 2000s! during! the! height! of! IPv6! development,! and!
Japanese!held! two!IAB! positions!during! that! time! frame.! ! Chinese! involvement! in! IETF!
has! risen! sharply! since! 2008,! and! Huawei’s! capture! of! two! IESG! and! one! IAB! seat! in!
2009'10!reflects!a!high!degree!of!engagement!with!the!organization!and!a!deep!interest!
in!shaping! its!future!course.!!Huawei,!in!particular,!has!been!extremely!deliberate!in!its!
assumption!of!leadership!roles!within!IETF.!!It!is!particularly!notable!that!of!the!two!IESG!
members! employed! by! Huawei,! neither! is! Chinese! nor! had! any! prior! employment!
history!with!the!company.! ! Rather,!it!is!believed! that! both!individuals,!nationals! of! the!
U.S.!and!UK,! were!recruited!by! Huawei! on!the!basis! of!their!longstanding! involvement!
with! IETF! and! their! existing! leadership! positions! within! the! organization.! ! Finally,! the!
recent! appointment! of! an! individual! from! Tsinghua! University! to! the! IAB! indicates! a!
broader! interest! within! China! in! Internet! standardization! issues,! going! beyond! the!
product!development!goals!of!a!single!firm.!
!
Z=) !",?>,,"-'!
!
The!quantitative! data! presented!in! Section! 6!reveal! several! trends!and! indicate!
that! the! engagement! of! Japanese,! Korean! and! Chinese! participants! in! IETF! differs!
significantly.! ! In! this! Section,! we! discuss! our! findings! with! respect! to! each! of! Japan,!
Korea!and!China,!and!then!with!respect!to!cultural!considerations!that!may!affect!Asian!
participants!in!IETF!generally.!
!
G7@-8*J*(-
!
Japanese!involvement!in!Internet!standardization!began!early!and!Japan!was,!for!
many! years,! second! only! to! the! U.S.! in! terms! of! IETF! participation.! Early! leadership!
positions!were!held!by!Japanese!individuals.!Though!Japanese!participation!has!declined!
since! the! early! 2000s,! Japan! remains! a! strong! contributor! to! IETF! standardization! in!
terms! of! attendance! (ranking! third! among! countries)! and! originating! a! significant!
number!of!IETF!documents!(ranked!eighth!among!countries).!!Japanese!participation!at!
IETF!benefits!from!the!presence!of!multiple!large!firms!such!as!NTT,!NEC,!Panasonic!and!
Sony! that! have! strong!commercial! interests! in! Internet! technologies! and! products.! !In!
addition,!academic/government! groups! such!as! WIDE! have!supported! and!hosted!IETF!
meetings!in!Japan,!also!contributing!to!high!levels!of!Japanese!participation!in!IETF.!
!
G7?-K%2"*-
!
Korean!involvement!in!IETF!has!always! been! significant,! but!below!the!levels!of!
Japan!and!major!European!countries!(ranking! seventh! in! terms! of! attendance,! but!only!
20th!in!terms!of!RFC!authorship).!!Korean!participation!in!IETF!has!also!declined!over!the!
past!decade,!and!has!been!dominated!by!one!firm,!Samsung.!!!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!27!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
!
Several!factors!may!explain!why!Korean!participation!in!IETF!has!been!below!that!
of! Japan! and! China.! ! First! is! the! limited! number! of! Korean! firms! having! a! direct!
commercial!stake!in!the!outcome!of!Internet!standardization.!!While!Samsung!is!a!global!
leader! in! the! market! for! Internet'connected! devices,! it! is! the! only! company! of! this!
stature! in! Korea.! ! Other! major! corporate! groups! in! Korea! (e.g.,! LG,! Hyundai)! focus! on!
other!product! categories! that! are! less! Internet'dependent.! ! Moreover,! as!discussed!in!
Section! 5.3,! the! Korean! government’s! direct! involvement! with,! and! sponsorship! of,!
Internet'related! standardization! activities! flagged! after! the! low! adoption! rate! of!
CDMA2000! 3G! wireless! technology! that! it! championed! and! the! dissolution! of! MIC! in!
2008.!
!
Another! factor! that! may! be! relevant! to! Korean! involvement! in! IETF! is! Korea’s!
export'oriented!economy.!!Because!Korean!firms!focus,!to!a!large!degree,!on!exports!as!
opposed!to!the!domestic!Korean!market,!they!may!be!less!interested!in!developing!new!
standards!than! quickly! determining! what! standards!have! been! adopted! by! others! and!
building!products!that!take!advantage!of!such!standards!(what!Ernst!refers!to!as!a!“fast!
follower”!strategy!(Ernst,!2011)).!!While!this!strategy!has! been! effective,! both! in!Korea!
and,! as! discussed! in! Section! 7.3! below,! in! China,! it! may! become! progressively! more!
difficult! to! execute! as! the! importance! of! patents! in! standards! grows.! ! That! is,! a! fast!
follower! may! be! able! to! manufacture! standards'compliant! products! efficiently! and!
without!the!added!expense!of!participating!in!the!standards'development!process,!but!
it! will! not! have! the! opportunity! to! patent! technologies! being! considered! for!
standardization!or! to! have! its! own! patented! technologies!adopted! as! standards.! ! As! a!
result,!the!fast!follower!firm!will!be! a! net! payor! of!patent!royalty!fees,!and!will!be!less!
profitable! than! firms! that! have! more! actively! and! successfully! participated! in!
standardization!and!associated!patenting!(Ernst,!2011).!
!!!
G7>-:4)(*-
!
Though! Chinese! involvement! in! IETF! did! not! begin! until! the! mid'2000s,! it! has!
expanded!rapidly!in!recent!years.!!Today,!China!is!a!major!player!in!numerous!areas!of!
Internet!standardization.!!It!has!consistently!been!the!second!most!represented!country!
at! IETF! meetings! since! 2009,! has! dramatically! increased! patent! disclosures! at! IETF,!
indicating! significant! new! product! development! based! on! IETF! standards,! and! has!
aggressively!sought!out!and!secured! high'level! leadership!positions!within!IETF,!mostly!
through! recruitment! of! Western! IETF! veterans.! Though! most! of! China’s! recent! IETF!
involvement!can! be!attributed! to!Huawei,! other!Chinese! firms!have! recently!begun! to!
increase! their! own! levels! of! participation! in! the! organization.! ! Thus,! contrary! to! the!
prevailing! view! that! China’s! engagement! with! standardization! is! primarily! one! of!
“catching! up”! through! indigenous! innovation,! such! as! that! displayed! by! insular!
development!programs!for!WAPI! and! TD'SCDMA!(Gao!&! Liu,! 2012,!Liu!&!Cheng,! 2011,!
Ernst! 2011),! China’s! experience! with! IETF! demonstrates! a! deliberate! and! effective!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!28!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
engagement! with! a! major! Western! standards'development! organization! on! its! own!
terms.! ! In! this! sense,! China’s! experience! with! Internet! standardization! has! differed!
significantly!from!that!in!wireless!telecommunications!and!other!technology!areas.!
!
Though! the! rate! of! acceptance! of! Chinese! proposals! at! IETF! still! lags! that! of!
longer'term!IETF!participants!(including!Japanese),!it!is! likely! that! continued! high! levels!
of! Chinese! engagement! with! the! organization! will! lead! to! greater! influence! and!
recognition.! ! Likewise,! Chinese! firms’! expanding! program! of! patenting! standardized!
technologies!is! likely! to! level! the!playing! field! with! U.S.! and!European! firms! that! have!
traditionally! wielded! substantial! economic! leverage! through! the! use! of! patents.! ! With!
their!high!level!of!participation!and!influence!at!IETF,!Chinese!firms!may!soon!shed!their!
“catching'up”!status,! and!are!poised!to!assume!a! position!of!leadership!alongside!long'
term!IETF!participants!from!the!United!States,!Europe!and!Japan.!!!
!
- G7A- c"#*+)%(,4)J-+%-`2%*L"2-V*2D"+-!2"(L,-
!
! Of! course,! China’s! emergence! as! a! major! technological! power! is! not! unique! to!
Internet! standardization.! ! In! 2010,! China’s! total! R&D! expenditure! was! approximately!
US$149!billion,!roughly!equal!to!Japan’s!and!significantly!in!excess!of!Korea’s!$49!billion!
(NRC,! 2012).!!The! rate! of! R&D! spending! growth! in! China! also! exceeded! that! of! other!
countries,!averaging! 18.9%!between! 1996! and! 2008,! while! Korea! experienced!average!
growth! of! 7.0%,! the! U.S.! 3.6%! and! Japan! 2.7%! over! the! same! period! (NRC,! 2012).! ! In!
terms! of! technology! product! exports,! China! has! also! expanded! rapidly,! doubling! its!
share! of! advanced! technology! product! exports! to! the! United! States! from! 16%! to! 33%!
between!2002!to!2012!(Kesan,!Marco!&!Miller,!2014).!!!
!
! Similar! trends! appear! in! overall! patenting! by! firms! in! China,! Japan! and! Korea.!!
For! example,! it! has! been! reported! that! Huawei! holds! more! than! 50,000! patents!
worldwide! (Neumeyer,! 2013),! indicating! that! Huawei’s! large! number! of! IETF! patent!
disclosures! represents! just! a! small! fraction! of! its! overall! corporate! patent! holdings.!!
Likewise,! overall! patenting! by! Chinese! firms! has! outpaced! that! of! other! developing!
economies.! ! Between! 2000! and! 2012,! the! number! of! U.S.! patent! applications! filed! by!
Chinese! inventors! increased! by! an! average! of! 31%! per! year! (Kesan,! Marco! &! Miller,!
2014),! more! than! any! other! country.! ! ! Similarly! rapid! growth! has! been! observed! for!
patents!issued!by!the!Chinese!patent!office!(Branstetter,!Li!&!Veloso,!2014).!
!
! It!is! unclear!whether!China!will!be!able!to!sustain!similar! growth!rates,!either!in!
terms!of!R&D!expenditure!or!patent!filings,!now!that!these!metrics!are!comparable!to!or!
in! excess! of! those! of! other! major! technology! economies.!!For! example,! Kesan,! Marco!
and!Miller!show!that!the!high!growth!rate!in!Chinese!U.S.!patent!applications!from!1997!
to! 2007! is! comparable! to! the! growth! rate! in! Korean! U.S.! patent! applications! over! the!
prior!decade,!from!1986!to!1996!(Kesan,!Marco!&!Miller,!2014).!!This!data!suggests!that!
China’s! recent! growth! may! be! a! sign! of! China’s! movement! up! the! value! chain! to! a!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!29!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
mature!position,!but!that!such!growth!may!stabilize!at!levels!now!seen!by!more!mature!
economies!such!as!Korea!and!Japan.!
!
-G7^- :'#+'2*#-:%(,)L"2*+)%(,-*+-MC!N-
!
!Despite!the!impact!of!broader!market!trends!influencing!the!R&D!expenditures,!
patenting! and! market! success! of! firms! in! the! major! Asian! economies,! Internet!
standardization! at! IETF! is! characterized! by! certain! idiosyncratic! features! that! may!
differentiate! it! from! other! technical! activities,! as! discussed! in! Section! 5.1.! ! A! major!
factor! affecting! an! individual’s! success! at! IETF! is! his! or! her! ability! to! propose! and!
collaborate!on!technical!projects.!!As!discussed!in!Section!6.1,!participation!in!IETF!is!on!
an!individual!basis,!and!individuals!are!expected!to!advocate,!and!defend,!their!technical!
proposals!against!criticism!that!can! sometimes! be! perceived! as!zealous!or!even!hostile!
(Russell,!2014;!Whitt,!2013;!Hoffman,!2012).!!This!confrontational!environment!may!not!
be!a!welcome!setting!for!some!Asian!participants!and!is!antithetical!to!the!collaborative!
and! non'confrontational! development! process! that! exists! within! large! Asian! firms! (Li,!
Lam! &! Qian,! 2001).! Moreover,! the! fact! that! all! IETF! discussions! and! debates! are!
conducted! in! English! may! be! a! further! disincentive! to! Asian! participants! who! are! less!
comfortable! with! the! language,! and! also! the! style,! of! oral! debate! that! occurs! at! IETF!
meetings.!!For!these!reasons,!even! if! Asian!individuals!attend! IETF! meetings,!they!may!
not!actively!participate!in!technical!discussions.!
!
Based!on!our!data,!Japanese!participants!appear!to!be!the!most!actively!engaged!
Asian!participants,!given!their!high!rate!of!successful!conversion!of!draft!documents!into!
RFCs!(see!Section!6.4).!!This!result!may!be!attributable!to!the!longer!duration!of!active!
Japanese!participation!in!IETF!and!a!level!of!trust!that!has!developed!between!individual!
Japanese! participants! and! others.! Such! social! networks,! established! over! years! of!
interaction,! have! been! shown! to! preserve! and! strengthen! a! firm’s! influence! within! a!
standard'setting!organization!(Dokko!&!Rosenkopf,!2010).!
!
On! the! other! hand,! Chinese! firms,! and! Huawei! in! particular,! appear! to! be!
addressing! the! apparent! IETF! culture! barrier! by! hiring! Western! IETF! veterans! (see!
Section!6.5).!!IETF!is!an!organization!in!which!the!views!and!direction!of!well'respected!
leaders!is!highly!valued!(Russell,!2014).!!Firms!that!hire!respected!individuals!within!an!
organization! have! the! potential! to! increase! their! social! capital! within! the! organization!
rapidly!(Dokko!&!Rosenkopf,!2010).!!Thus,!hiring!senior!IETF!leaders!may!enable!Huawei!
and! other! Chinese! firms! to! achieve! gains! in! social! capital! and! influence! that! took!
Japanese!firms!years!to!develop.!!It!is!important!to!note!that!this!approach!by!Chinese!
firms!is!not! unique! to!Internet!standardization,!and!reports!indicate!that!other!Chinese!
technology! firms! are! actively! recruiting! senior! Western! executives! (Reader,! 2014).! ! As!
such,!the!recruitment!of!senior!IETF!participants!by!Huawei!and!other!Chinese!firms!may!
represent!a!broader!Chinese!industrial!strategy!to!gain!influence!rapidly!within!Western!
technical!organizations!by!hiring!Western!leadership!personnel.!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!30!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
!
Q=):-'?D>,"-',)
)
This!study!for!the!first!time!sheds! light!on!the!involvement!of!Asian!participants!
in! international! Internet! standardization! through! IETF.! ! Most! importantly,! it! confirms!
that!Chinese! participation! in! IETF! has!increased! dramatically! in! a! period! of! only!a! few!
years.!!It!has!outstripped!participation!by!firms!from!Japan!and!Korea!in!at!least!three!of!
the!metrics!measured:!attendance,!patenting!and!leadership,!and!is!rapidly!catching!up!
with!Japan!in!terms!of!document!authorship.!!Together,!these!factors!suggest!that!China!
has,!by!design,!left!behind!its!role!of!“catching!up”!to!Western!technology!interests,!and!
is! poised! to! exert! significant! influence! over! the! direction! and! pace! of! Internet!
standardization!in!the!future.!
!
While! the! quantitative! data! and! descriptive! statistics! in! this! article! illuminate!
certain!trends! and! practices! occurring! with! respect! to!standardization! activities! within!
IETF,! the! explanatory! value! of! such! data! is! limited.! ! Thus,! while! the! data! reveal! the!
increasing! presence! and! influence! of! Chinese! participants! at! IETF,! the! long'term! and!
steady!presence!of! Japanese! participants!and!a! somewhat! waning!presence!by!Korean!
participants,!the! reasons!for!these!trends!are!not!fully!elucidated! by!the!data.!!Thus,!in!
future! studies! we! propose! to! supplement! these! quantitative! data! with! interview! and!
survey! data! designed! to! elicit! from! both! Asian! and! non'Asian! participants! in! IETF! the!
underlying! causes! of! these! trends.! Surveys! have! been! used! successfully! to! assess!
attitudes!of!participants!in!standard'setting!organizations,!particularly!participants!from!
developing!countries!(Raines,!2003).!
!
In!particular,!it!will!be!useful!to!collect!data!to!determine!whether!and!how!Asian!
participation! in! Internet! standardization! differs! from! Asian! participation! in!
standardization! in! other! industries! such! as! wireless! telecommunications,! and! whether!
the!trends! observed!regarding! Asian! participation! in! IETF! are! applicable!to! technology!
standardization! more! generally,! or! whether! they! may! arise! due! to! idiosyncrasies! and!
cultural!peculiarities!inherent!to!IETF.!!It!will!also!be!useful!to!assess!a!broader!range!of!
standardization! activities! affecting! the! Internet,! including! both! large! international!
organizations!such! as!ITU! and!ISO,! as!well! as! smaller! consortia,! to! determine! whether!
participation!by! Asian! firms,!particularly! Korean!firms! that! are!not! well'represented!at!
IETF,!may!be!more!strongly!represented!in!such!alternative!venues.!
!
Another!possible! factor!contributing! to! the! dominance! of! Chinese! participation!
and!the!decline!of!Japanese!and!Korean!participation!in!IETF!may!be!due!simply!to!the!
primary! product! lines! sold! by! firms! from! these! countries.! Firms! participate! in!
standardization!activities! that! are! germane! to! their! current! or! future! products.! !While!
the!range!of! technology! firms!having!an! interest!in!Internet! technologies! is!broad!(see!
Section! 5.1)! it! is! not! infinite.! ! Korea’s! largest! technology! firms! are! Samsung! and! LG,!
which! produce! a! wide! range! of! consumer! electronics! devices,! but! do! not! generally!
Contreras!–!Asian!Internet!Standardization! ! Page!31!
38!!"#"$%&&'()$*+)%(,-.%#)$/!916'934!(2014)!
!
!
produce!networking! or! communications! equipment.! !Thus,! while!they! may! have! some!
interest! in! Internet! technology,! it! is! not! either! company’s! principal! line! of! business.!!
Likewise,! Japanese! firms! such! as! Sharp,! Sony,! Toshiba,! Fujitsu! and! Panasonic! focus!
largely! on! consumer! electronics! products,! rather! than! networking! or! communications!
equipment.! ! China,! however,! is! the! home! of! Huawei,! one! of! the! world’s! largest!
producers!of!network!routing!equipment.!!ZTE,!another!Chinese!firm,!is!likewise!a!major!
producer!of!this!equipment.!!Chinese!engagement!in!IETF!is!driven!largely!by!these!two!
firms.! ! Without! Huawei! and! ZTE,! Chinese! participation! in! IETF! would! be! quite! modest!
and!below! that!of! Japan!and! Korea.! Thus,! much! of! China’s! dominance! in! the! realm! of!
Internet!standardization! may!be!attributable!to!the!fact!that!these!two!firms!are!based!
in!China.!!Future!research!should!assess!standardization!activity!within!Japan,!Korea!and!
China! more! broadly! across! a! range! of! industries! (e.g.,! Internet,! telecommunications,!
networking,! computer! memory,! etc.)! to! determine! whether! the! trends! observed! with!
respect! to! Internet! standardization! are! localized! to! that! industry,! or! are! more! far'
reaching!and!thus!indicative!of!broader!national!priorities!and!practices.!
!
One! final! limitation! of! this! study! is! that! it! covers! only! China,! Japan! and! Korea.!
There! are,! however,! other! significant! technology'developing! regions! both! within! and!
outside!of!Asia!that!bear!analysis!and!comparison!to!the!three!studied.!!Principal!among!
these!is!India,! which! shares! both!commonalities!and!differences!with!China!in!terms!of!
its!population,! technology! focus!and! economic! development.! ! India! is! also! involved!in!
numerous!international!standardization!activities!(NRC,!2013),!and!a!comparison!to!the!
three! countries! studied! could! offer! additional! insight! regarding! the! causes! underlying!
the!trends!observed.!
!
!
G?Y'-]D$3&$0$'(,)
!
The!author!thanks!Dieter!Ernst!and!Tim!Simcoe!for!helpful!comments!and!Scott!Bradner,!
Bob! Hinden,! and! Russ! Housley! of! IETF! for! their! valuable! insights! regarding! IETF!
processes!and!history.!!Research!assistance!and!data!collection!by!Saba!Ahmed,!Sydney!
Kestle!and!Yoonhee!Kim!are!greatly!appreciated.!!
!
2(+($0$'(,)-.)1'($%$,()
!
The!author!serves!as!a!legal!advisor!to!IETF,!but!received!no!compensation!for!the!
preparation!of!this!article.!
! !
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... The Chinese influence on standardization work in 3GPP thus seems to lag behind that of other players, at least in relative terms. These findings are in line with the results of Contreras (2014), who was able to show, with regard to the internet standardization organization IETF, that Chinese involvement in standardization has increased strongly since the mid-2000s, but that the acceptance of Chinese proposals still lags behind that of more established actors. ...
... We should therefore be cautious in generalizing our results beyond this particular organizational setting. Other studies have focused on standardization organizations such as the IETF (see, e.g., Simcoe and Waguespack, 2011;Contreras, 2014 or Baron and Kanevskaia Whitaker, 2021) and have analyzed how the engagement of different East Asian players has changed over time using various quantitative metrics, such as attendance or authorship. Nevertheless, in light of our research questions, we are convinced that 3GPP, with its broad and rich data availability as well as the global economic importance of the consortium, can provide a promising insight into the dynamics as well as the prevailing patterns and structures of international ICT standardization. ...
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... Meeting places such as the IETF have faced similar criticism. Some of the underlying grievances have been addressed in recent years as ICANN has become independent from the US government (Becker, 2019) and Chinese actors increasingly included in standardsetting (Contreras, 2014). However, dissatisfaction with the prominence of US organizations and actors remains in China, Europe and many other countries. ...
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... For example, Kang et al. (2014) have analyzed essential patents to compare Chinese and Korean companies in ICT global standardization. Contreras (2014) has investigated the patterns of engagement in the standardization of the Internet, where not only patenting, but also two other measures-participation and leadership-are introduced to examine the different patterns among Japan, Korea, and China. In line with such attempts, this present study aims to develop a method that can help a company to monitor its competitors' strategies as well as to identify its position with regard to essential patents. ...
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