The Chinese Government will increase funding for research and development (R&D) of IPv6-enabled routers to ensure more domestically made routers are adopted in the country's next-generation Internet (NGI), which is under construction.

According to Wang Baiyi, a director at the Ministry of Science and Technology's High-tech Development Centre, The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will earmark about 50 million yuan (US$6.02 million), by the end of 2004, to domestic vendors for R&D into IPv6-based routers.

NDRC will invite domestic router vendors to submit bids, and will then provide funding to the winners, Wang said. The move is aimed at promoting the development of domestically made IPv6-enabled routers, and at helping Chinese vendors secure a larger share of the market, he said.

IPv6, the core technological protocol for NGI, is designed to solve the possible crisis resulting from the lack of IP addresses, especially in Asia, under the existing IPv4. In addition, with its"always-on (line)" feature, IPv6 is expected to bring considerable changes to people's lives after it is put into wide use.

China has already initiated its R&D into IPv6. The first national NGI network based on IPv6 in China, known as CERNET (China Education and Research Network) 2, has been in operation, for academic use, since last March. Meanwhile, five major telecoms operators in China–China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, China Netcom and China Railcom–have begun establishing their IPv6-enabled networks nationwide.


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