24 Sep 2009 14:25

High costs to hinder application of RFID and related technology in China

Beijing. September 24. INTERFAX-CHINA - The high costs associated with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology will have a negative impact on the industry's development and the adaptation of the related Internet of Things network, according to current trials being conducted in Guangdong Province, an expert told Interfax on Sept. 24.

According to Li Ying, director of the RFID public technology support center in Guangdong Province, an RFID label costs around RMB 1.37 ($0.2), which is acceptable for products like home appliances but considered high for mass-market consumer goods like toothpaste, batteries and pens.

Nevertheless, the technology has already been adopted by commercial enterprises and government agencies - China Mobile conducted its own RFID technology trials in June 2008, while the Guangdong provincial government began utilizing the technology in its logistics system between Hong Kong and Guangdong in 2007.

Other issues that remain unresolved are the national standardization of RFID technology as well as logistics and supply chain information sharing among companies.

Interfax reported on June 3, 2008 that Guangdong Province aims to build a logistics network based on RFID technology covering the entire southern China region over the next five years, requiring total investment of RMB 1 billion ($144.21 million).

RFID technology enables the tracking and identification of objects, people and animals through the application or incorporation of tags that emit radio frequency signals and can be managed remotely.

It is also an important technology component for the Internet of Things network, which refers to a network of objects that are linked through the installation of sensory devices such as RFID chips, wireless infrared sensors and GPS (Global Positioning Systems) trackers. Through such a network, virtually any object can be identified and managed remotely through radio tags, RFID chips and two-dimensional bar codes linked to an Internet or telecommunication network.