Upcoming workshop: China and the Standardization of Digital Technologies

The ECLS, together with the DGA (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Asienkunde) funds a workshop on “China and the Standardization of Digital Technologies” to be held at Humboldt University of Berlin, 10-11 June 2024.

Standards are technical documents that are negotiated by providers of products, services and practices to enable interoperability across different environments. Often barely visible albeit ubiquitous, they constitute a strong form of self-regulation in markets on the one hand, while also increasingly being directly mandated by governments to ensure legal compliance on the other. Standards formalize practices and provide a normative foundation for their predictability and persistence even across national borders, thereby facilitating geopolitical shifts behind the scenes, excluding some actors and including others. Standing out among emerging economies, the Chinese government has recognized the importance of standard-setting early on and invested considerably in building capacity and expertise in standardization over the past 25 years. Today, China’s regulatory framework and practices in digital technologies heavily rely on technical standards. Based on its domestic efforts in standardization and fuelled by its economic power, China also succeeded in moving from standard-taker to global standard-maker. Chinese standards, whether through China’s involvement with standard-setting in international bodies such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)or through de facto standardization by Chinese firms, increasingly permeate regions beyond China’s borders.
At the same time, standardization by Chinese stakeholders must not only be understood as a centralized, top-down, state-driven and planned process. Governmentally authorized technical experts are not the sole contributors in shaping the emergence of new standards, and whether and how they are implemented depends on the interests and strategies pursued by political, economic and societal stakeholders. In China like elsewhere, standards development depends on the input of a wide range of actors along the chain of production, dissemination and use of a standardized good or service. It is therefore imperative to approach standards and standardization through a bottom-up perspective, focusing on the dynamics and power relations that shape the negotiation and application of standards. China’s push for global leadership in standardization may be predominantly perceived as a hegemonial power grab, which is facilitated by China’s massive investments through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and in many economies of the Global South. Nevertheless, the development and use of standards is inevitably grounded in and shaped by the respective local context, so that processes of adaptation and acculturation may heavily influence the global diffusion of Chinese standards.

Feel free to contact the organizers Daniel Sprick, Daniel Fuchs and Marianne von Blomberg at ChinaDigitalStandardsWorkshop@protonmail.com.

Call for Papers: 2024 Annual Conference of the ECLS in Hong Kong

The 18th Annual Conference of the European China Law Studies Association will be held in Hong Kong from 19 to 21 September 2024. The conference will be hosted and organized by the Faculty of Law of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK LAW).

ECLS is dedicated to advancing comparative and interdisciplinary research in Chinese law. Its Annual Conference is recognized as a premier forum for scholars, legal practitioners, and policymakers from around the globe to meet and debate the latest developments in Chinese law. The Annual Conference also serves as a platform for initiating research collaborations.


The Annual Conference Organizing Committee is now inviting the submission of paper and panel proposals for the 2024 ECLS Annual Conference. We welcome contributions addressing legal matters related to any China law topic such as – but expressly not limited – to the following:

  • Legal Issues concerning EU-China Relations
  • China and the International Legal Order
  • Legal Culture, Legal Traditions and Rule of Law Development
  • Chinese Jurisprudence and Legal History
  • Legal Aspects of the Belt and Road Initiative
  • Law in the Greater Bay Area
  • Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure
  • Gender Equality 
  • Human Rights Protection 
  • Chinese Law Emergency/Pandemic Preparedness
  • Sustainable Development and the Role of Regulation in China
  • Legal and Economic Issues of International Investment
  • Developments in Chinese Corporate and Commercial Law
  • Cyber Security and Data Protection
  • Legal Technologies, Big Data and Smart Courts
  • Cryptocurrencies and China’s Banking and Finance Law
  • Intellectual Property and Chinese Law
  • Social Credit and the Law in China
  • Labour Law Developments, Decent Work and Fundamental Labour Rights
  • Administrative Law and Administrative Procedure
  • Environment, Climate Change and Energy Law and Policies

Keynote Speakers

Professor Björn Ahl from the University of Cologne and Professor Li Guo from Peking University have kindly agreed to present the keynote speeches.

Guidelines for Submission 

The Organizing Committee invites the submission of paper abstracts and panel proposals by 30 April 2024. All submissions will undergo a peer-review process. Submissions should be entered via https://cloud.itsc.cuhk.edu.hk/webform/view.php?id=13684342.

Individual papers abstracts should be confined to 300 words, while panel proposals should not exceed 1,000 words. Submissions must include: (1) the title of the paper or panel, (2) the name, institutional affiliation, and email address of the author(s), and (3) up to five relevant keywords.

The Organizing Committee welcomes abstracts and proposals from emerging researchers, including PhD candidates and MA students. Special sessions for emerging researchers will be organized in the form of roundtables, moderated by seasoned scholars to facilitate enriching discussions.

Important Dates 

30 April 2024 – submission of abstracts/panel proposals

27 May 2024 – notification of acceptance

15 July 2024 – submission of full papers (which should not exceed 8,000 words).


The Conference will take place at the CUHK Graduate Law Centre, 2/F, Bank of America Tower, 12 Harcourt Road, Central, Hong Kong SAR, China.

Practical Information 

Conference participants will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs. Additional information concerning logistics and other practical aspects will be provided in due time. Visit the conference website at https://www.law.cuhk.edu.hk/conf/2024/ecls for more details.

Turin 2018: Conference Programme

Turin 2018: Call for papers
Call for papers
The 13th annual conference of the European China Law Studies Association (ECLS) will take place in Turin (Italy) on 13 – 14 September 2018, with the support of the University of Turin, its Department of Law, and its Department of Humanities. Continue reading“Turin 2018: Call for papers”
2018 ECLS Annual Conference in Turin on 12-14 September 2018
The 2018 ECLS Annual Conference will be held at the University of Turin in Italy on 12-14 September 2018.
More information will follow soon with a call for papers.