The Ministry of Public Security is set to initiate its project to issue Chinese citizens with new ID cards containing an IC-card (smartcard), enabling it to store considerably more personal data and making the ID much harder to forge.

It is expected that the demand for IC-cards in China will exceed 500 million in 2004, according to a report recently released by the China Center for Information Industry Development (CCID).

The term IC-card refers to an electronic identification card with integrated circuits, which has the capability to identify cards and recognize different identities – cell-phone cards, traffic cards and social insurance cards are all versions of IC-cards. As these cards are increasingly used, about 556 million cards will be put on the market in 2004 and the market demand will be 689 million in 2006, according to the CCID report.

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