According to a report from IDG News Service, Pat Gelsinger, Intel's Chief Technology Officer, will meet with Chinese officials to discuss recent concerns about China's national wireless LAN security standard after the Standardization Administration of China (SAC) announced that all WLAn products sold in the country from 1 June this year support China's national wireless standard–GB15629.11-2003.
Although GB15629.11-2003 is very similar to the IEEE's 802.11 standard, commonly known as Wi-Fi, already in use around the world, a major difference exists in the security protocol. While the Chinese system uses the WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure (Wapi) protocol, this is not compatible with the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) that is part of the 802.11 standard. An additional concern in the West has been that the Wapi system details have been shared only with approximately 20 Chinese companies–no foreign IT makers. Companies such as Intel may well be forced to enter co-production agreements with Chinese companies to gain access to the technology or risk having their products shut out of the Chinese market.