June 11, 2006

WAPI Standards War to Reach Washington (Again)

Author: Andy Updegrove

Andy Updegrove writes "Two years ago, a wireless standards war between the US and China escalated to the highest levels of government before a truce was reached, with then-Secretary of State Colin Powell personally intervening. The subject then was the WiFi wireless standard, and the challenger was a Chinese competitor with a security algorithm called WAPI. Now, ISO has rejected WAPI and adopted WiFi, and this week, a Chinese delegation walked out of an ISO standards reconciliation meeting in Prague, alleging "unfair treatment" and "amoral behavior" on the part of IEEE, Intel and others. According to the Xinhua News Agency, the delegation has now called in "diplomatic support," because "The U.S. government has played an important role in supporting its own technology competing against WAPI." The escalation comes against a backdrop of multiple "home grown" Chinese standards in areas such as DVD, RFID, and 3G telephones - not to mention home-grown distros of Linux."
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