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China Eying RFID

The local media are beginning to pick up on the news that Chinese companies are being urged to play a greater role in drafting standards for radio frequency identification (RFID).

"Chinese industries and businesses should work together, and co-operate with relevant foreign companies, to set a unified standard for RFID," said Zheng Xinli, vice-director of the Policy Study Office under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. "An alliance will significantly help promote the setting of standards in China, in boosting exports of Chinese products and in promoting foreign trade." Zheng made the remarks recently in Beijing, during a global forum on RFID technology.

China lags far behind other countries and regions in setting technology standards. About 99.8% of the technology standards used in China were set by other countries or foreign companies, Zheng said. The Chinese Government allocates only 80 million yuan (US$9.64 million) annually to help fund technology standards, he noted.

Xu Qin, deputy director-general of the Department of High-tech Industrial Development under the National Development and Reform Commission, said the government will assist with the setting of an RFID standard, and with relevant policies and promotions of RFID applications.

The Chinese Government has established a National Auto-ID Standard Working Committee to develop standards with Chinese intellectual property rights (IPRs). The committee has 16 members and more than 40 domestic research institutes are applying for membership to get involved in the business of setting the standards.

China, Japan and South Korea are making joint efforts to develop RFID standards. They are following a similar alliance that was formed to develop standards for the Linux operating system. The United States and Europe are working on their own standards, which they hope will become the global standard.

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