China is not just an exporter of high-tech products; it is now a major consumer of these products as well. As Chinese markets expand, they become a tempting target for electronics designers worldwide. This is particularly true for designers of DSP-based products, because many Chinese markets rely on signal processing technology.
Before you design a product for the Chinese market, you must first decide how to deal with China's home-grown standards. China is pushing its own national standards in at least twelve areas including cell phones, optical disks, wireless LANs, digital TV, mobile TV, home networking, RFID, and A/V compression. Designers targeting China must answer a critical question: Should you design your products to meet China's standards, or should you design them to meet global standards?
My advice is to target the global standards. For one thing, China's standards have a poor track record. The standards that are farthest along, such as the optical-disk and wireless LAN standard, have received very little support. And many of the standards that are under development have been extensively delayed by technical and bureaucratic problems. (See this EE Times piece for an excellent analysis of the problems with China's standards.)
There are a few areas where China's standards are likely to succeed. For example, its 3G cellular technology is widely expected to do well. However, China's standards are unlikely to displace global standards. For example, global cellular standards such as GSM are likely to dominate the Chinese market long even after China launches its own 3G technology.
Finally, remember that China is not the only developing market. By designing you products to global standards, you can sell your product not only in China, but around the world.