Resident ID Cards Seen Driving China's RFID Market

China's resident identification card program is expected to be a major driver behind its soaring use of electronic tags over the next several years, a market research firm said Wednesday.

The number of radio-frequency ID tags bought by the Chinese is expected to reach 2.9 billion by 2009 from more than a 100 million last year, In-Stat said. A key use will be in the nation'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," In-Stat analyst Anty Zheng said in a statement. "More than 1 billion ID Cards will be issued before the end of 2008."

The Chinese government has made a major push in the use of RFID technology, targeting government, transportation and manufacturing. The retail industry, however, is expected to eventually become the biggest user of RFID tags.

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