China is adopting RFID technology on an unprecedented scale, with more than 2.9 billion tags forecast to be shipped by 2009, according to a new report by In-Stat.
Last year, more than 100 million tags were shipped to the country. But through 2009, the government’s second-generation Resident ID Card program is expected to significantly accelerate the adoption of RFID, said In-Stat.
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 In-Stat analyst Anty Zheng, in a statement.
More than one billion ID cards will be issued by 2009, Zheng said. Beginning in 2008, RFID tags used for items would exceed those resident ID cards, making the retail industry the biggest consumer of tags.
However, incompatible RFID standards remain an obstacle for an open supply chain that crosses industries and territories, said the researchers.
And tag prices in the country are still relatively expensive, ranging from about 15 cents to more than $200 per tag.
In the US, the so-called magic price point for the widespread adoption of RFID is widely thought to be under 10 cents per tag. Currently, the average price of RFID tags in the US is about 15 cents.