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China Works Out RFID Standards

The government and industries within China are developing RFID standards that should be compatible with specs used elsewhere in the world.

Laurie Sullivan

March 3, 2005

2 Min Read

A delegation of representatives from Chinese government agencies, system integrators, vendors and standards group EPCglobal Inc. gathered at RFID World in Dallas this week to discuss radio-frequency identification technology in China.

The Chinese government and industries within China are working to develop RFID standards that are in line with specifications being used elsewhere in the world, representatives from the delegation told InformationWeek. "China will use EPCglobal and ISO standards, but with some modifications to satisfy special needs in China," said Qiang Bai, CTO at uniView Technologies.

China plans to participate in creating a global standard but will use its own intellectual property to build a royalty-free standard. The country wants to avoid a similar intellectual-property tax that was initiated on manufacturers building DVD players in China, a tax that resulted in DVDs built in China costing more than imports, delegation representatives said.

Meanwhile, EPCglobal Inc. has developed EPCglobal China and has set up a working group for RFID to review and study as well as make modifications to an existing standards proposal; it will the go to the Standard Association of China for approval.

China's use of the UHF band--the radio band over which RFID signals are sent in the United States--faces challenges. The frequency within the UHF band that the next-generation Gen 2 global standard will operate on (which is the 860-MHz to 960-MHz frequency) is heavily occupied by GMS and CDMA telecommunications devices. China's radio-frequency management authority is testing a number of frequencies and will make the final decision on which one to open, members of the delegation said. No time schedule was discussed. For now, the Chinese government is offering temporary licenses in the UHF band.

In China, RFID is mostly used for national identification cards carried by Chinese citizens now being issued by the government, along with other types of documentation, such as mortgage paperwork and college degrees, according to Gejun Zhang, CEO at Beijing Vision Electron Technology Co. Says Zhang: "This is to prevent counterfeiting of documents."

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