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March 14, 2019

Citing Foreign NGO Law Requirements, U.S.-based NGO Opts out of China Summit

Yesterday, the U.S.-based Open Source Hardware Association announced on its website that it had canceled plans to hold its annual summit in Shenzhen, in large part due to difficulties complying with China’s Foreign NGO Law.

The non-profit organization, which has about 500 dues-paying members, had planned the summit for Shenzhen because the city has “a vibrant local community of open source hardware enthusiasts,” and because “many members of the OSHW community were also very excited for the opportunity to travel to a location that is so central to manufacturing innovation.”

According to its website, OSHWA (whose board is chaired by China NGO Project Editor Jessica Batke’s spouse, Michael Weinberg) found itself unable to identify a Chinese Partner Unit (CPU) to sponsor the summit. The post on its site noted that even had it found a suitable CPU, the organization would have struggled to “justify the time and resources required to comply with the various filing requirements associated with the law.” —Susan Jakes

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