The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is bringing its technical and management staff to China for the first time as a way to increase collaboration between the nation's Internet industry and the Web standards group.
W3C said on Sunday it was opening its fourth "host location" at the country's Beihang University located in Beijing. The university is known for its contributions to China's aeronautical and astronautics fields and was also the site where W3C opened an office in 2006.
Previously, W3C's office at Beihang University focused on developer relations, and had a staff of only one or two people, said Ian Jacobs, a spokesman with the group. By opening a host location, W3C's technical and management staff will be operating out of the country, with the size of the team now increasing to between seven and 10 people.
W3C operates from three other host locations based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S., the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics in France, and Keio University in Japan.
The Web standards group, which has been working to enhance HTML5, noted that China had become a strategically important region. The country has the world's largest number of Internet users at 564 million, and ranks as the number one market worldwide for PC and smartphone shipments.
By opening the new host location, W3C aims to hold more activities in China, and attract more industry players and developers in shaping international Web standards, according to Jacobs.
The W3C currently has 22 members from China, and include search engine giant Baidu, messaging and gaming provider Tencent, along with telecommunication equipment supplier Huawei. The country's government-linked Chinese Academy of Sciences, and state-owned mobile carrier China Unicom are also listed as members.
In the near future, W3C's efforts in China will likely focus on mobile technologies and online browsers, Jacobs said. The group is seeking to improve performance and interoperability for HTML 5 and its Open Web Platform.