China Eases Wi-Fi Regulations
By Eric Lin, Thu Apr 22 05:00:00 GMT 2004
After recently passing a law that all future Wi-Fi equipment would have to include their home-brewed WAPI security, now China has backed down from the controversy and suspended the requirement.
For the past few months, there's been a scuffle between China and US wireless chip manufacturers. In March, China passed a law that all Wi-Fi equipment sold there after June 1 would have to support the WAPI security spec- a new algorithm that leaves a backdoor open for the government to eavesdrop on transmissions.
The problem was that WAPI is incompatible with most current chipsets, which puts US manufacturers at a distinct disadvantage, especially considering China's tight deadline. Never mind the fact that it also leaves all Wi-Fi networks there open to snooping- by the government or other parties.
Even as recently as two days ago, China was not backing down and Intel and other US chip makers were climbing their way through Chinese bureaucracy to work out a deal. News.com reports that today the US Government reached a trade deal with China that includes a stay of execution for WAPI implementation. The Chinese have agreed to postpone the WAPI requirement indefinitely, allowing manufacturers to sell their current Wi-Fi equipment in China.