China gears up its SMEs for new quality standards and certification challenge
China gears up SMEs for quality standards and certification challenge
On May 25, MIIT announced the launch of a three-year plan to strengthen local SMEs to the highest quality standards.
The plan brings together eight other ministries and central administrations:
- the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC),
- the Ministry of Education (MoE),
- the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS),
- the State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR),
- the newly created National Administration of Financial Supervision and Administration (NAFR) ,
- the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC),
- the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) and
- the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.
The plan consists in deploying an awareness-raising campaign aimed at innovative SMEs, encouraging them to refer to a list of 300 normative criteria concerning trademark quality. In order to consolidate production and supply chains, a second focus will be to introduce a new system for certifying SME quality management schemes, including their rankings, for the benefit of their clients, i.e. large corporations. The industrial sectors mentioned include industrial machinery and equipment, electronics, textiles, iron and steel, building materials and non-ferrous metals.
At this stage, it is difficult to say whether this dual process of issuing new norms and quality standards is voluntary or compulsory for SMEs, and to what extent with regard to the plan which remains vague on the practical details behind its awareness-raising actions.
In any case, the process appears to be strictly top-down, with standards bodies absent from the list of those involved in devising the three-year plan. It would appear that the process is a trial balloon designed to steer the course of the most promising SMEs by protecting their development and preparing them for internationalization under the best possible conditions, notably through certification, a major issue for China. Take note of a twin plan released by the MIIT on the same day, entitled: “Special plan to strengthen SMEs through scientific and technological achievements (2023-2025)”