A report by In-Stat shows that more than 2.9 billion RFID tags are forecast to be shipped by 2009 in China.

The report says from 2005 through 2009, a major RFID application will be for human ID through China's second-generation Resident ID Card program.

"With a population of over 1.3 billion, the issuance of RFID-tag-inlaid Resident ID cards by the Ministry of Public Security is one of the biggest RFID projects in the world," says Anty Zheng, In-Stat analyst. "More than one billion ID Cards will be issued before the end of 2008."

Beginning in 2008, RFID tags used for items will exceed those used for resident ID cards, making the retail industry the biggest consumer of tags.

However, incompatible RFID standards remain obstacles for an open supply chain that crosses industries and territories. And tag prices are still relatively expensive, ranging from a low of around US$0.15 to a high of over US$200.

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