China’s Ministry of Public Security, which oversees the country’s police force, plans to issue more than 1.3 billion new resident ID cards with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips, according to In-Stat China, a market research company.
Based on the number of cards to be issued, the rollout represents one of the largest RFID projects in the world, according to Anty Zheng, research director at In-Stat China.
RFID tags can send and receive data over short distances. As a result, an RFID reader that is within roughly 8 to 12 inches of a card can read the data on it, Zheng says. The cards are used to store basic personal information, such as the cardholder’s name and birth date.
The Chinese government has so far issued 102 million of the cards, and plans to issue more than 300 million per year for the next several years, the ministry said in March.
In-Stat estimates that 100 million RFID tags were sold in China during 2005.
The company expects the number of tags shipped annually in China to rise quickly in coming years, hitting total sales of 2.9 billion tags by 2009. ID cards are expected to account for most of the tags used through 2008, at which time demand for RFID tag use in retail stores is expected to dominate the market, In-Stat says.