edugat : Chinas Millionen Markt
China?s new national identification card is rolling out in significant numbers, creating demand for terminals that can read the contactless smart card IDs. To date, China has issued 8 million of the new ID cards containing contactless smart card chips, Yan Ming, the director of The First Research Institute of the Ministry of Public Security, tells Card Technology, The government plans to replace 1.14 billion older plastic ID cards that it has been issuing since 1985, and some analysts believe there will ultimately be 1 billion contactless chip cards issued in this project. Each card is estimated to cost the government 20 yuan (US$2.42).
These new cards create demands for readers capable of capturing data from and sending data to the chips that communicate via radio frequency. For instance, there are about 30,000 police stations in China that will need readers, says Guo Xing, director of the ID card management department of the Ministry of Public Security. Readers will also be required for other applications, such as identifying a consumer opening a bank account or a traveler boarding an airplane. Some readers will be able to read data only, some to write data only and a third type just to change personal information, such as when a citizen changes address. For security reasons, each type of terminal will only have one function, Guo says.
Some observers estimate the market for card readers for the ID program could reach 10 billion yuan (US$1.2 billion). Last year, 170 companies applied to supply such readers and the government granted approvals to 10 of them. Xun Xiaoli, vice manager of marketing of China Vision, one of the approved vendors, notes that each provincial city will negotiate its own reader contracts. Therefore, he says his company has established a network of more than 20 distributors to market readers for use at police stations.