RFID In China

There is a massive internal RFID market in China, according to IDTechEx technical consultant Ning Xiao. He recently toured China visiting RFID companies, users and the government to uncover the latest developments and reported on his findings in an Aug. 30 article on. Idtechex.com

Even though 65% of goods sold by Wal-Mart come from China, they are not yet required to have RFID tags, according to Xiao, and he doubts whether they will be able to afford RFID technology. But RFID use in China will center on the local market. One example Xioa found was a university that ordered smart tags with a potential of 120 million tags just for one province.

Currently, China has issued the world's largest order for RFID -- a $6 billion order for a national ID card program. These are contactless cards, operating at HF. By the end of 2005, China had issued 110 million national ID cards. The target is to issue 900 million ID cards by the end of 2008. Each card costs about $2.50, and only Chinese companies have been chosen to provide the entire solution reports Xioa.

The driving force for RFID comes from the government which provides support for major companies to deploy RFID projects. One example Xioa found is the Shanghai Hsic company which has implemented RFID for tracking potentially dangerous items such as fireworks and gas cylinders.

With regard to a national RFID standard there is some debate. "If the RFID standards cannot be supplemented, adjusted or modified by China, the tremendous economic benefit brought by RFID will be abated", said Dr. Wenfeng Wang, executive secretary of the new national standardization workgroup, speaking to IDTechEx. "We cannot buy everything from other countries. We cannot store all our real-time information abroad," commented Qi Zhang, director of The National Golden Cards Project.

For a full list of case studies of RFID in China consult the IDTechEx RFID knowledgebase www.rfidbase.com.

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