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For the last two centuries, great powers—both nations and their associated firms—have fiercely competed to set the technical standards for leading technologies. By imposing their preferred standards, nations not only solve technical problems to their advantage but they also project power globally. Standards determine what kind of technology will prevail in the future, ensuring market dominance to national champions, while forcing foreign competitors to adapt at hefty costs. As the industrialist Werner von Siemens reportedly put it: “He who owns the standards, owns the market.”


Campanella, Edoardo, and John Haigh. "China Wants to Run Your Internet." Foreign Policy. August 25, 2023.