chinese tech

By agrav8r · 9 replies
Dec 10, 2003
  1. I am not sure if they are doing this to prove a point in the global arena or to limit the access that their citizens will have, thus ensuring their hold while appearing to show improvement and strength. This makes me think of their manned space mission just a while back, it was really unnessicary but it was a combination of posturing and an attempt for patriotic support in the chinese citizens.

    Enterprise Networks / LANs /

    IEEE: Chinese security standard could fracture Wi-Fi

    Breaking news
    Today's top news.

    By Sumner Lemon
    IDG News Service, 12/09/03

    The implementation of a Chinese security standard for wireless networking could undermine efforts to develop a global standard for wireless LANs and drive up the cost of networking equipment for end users, warned a senior executive at the IEEE in a recent letter to Chinese government officials.

    The Standardization Administration of China (SAC) announced the adoption of China's WLAN standard, called GB15629.11-2003, in May. While WLAN equipment sold in China is required to comply with this standard from Dec. 1, a transition period has been granted that extends the compliance deadline for some WLAN products until June 1, 2004.


    The Chinese WLAN standard is similar in many ways to IEEE's 802.11 wireless networking standard - commonly known as Wireless Fidelity or Wi-Fi - but it has one crucial difference: it uses a different security protocol, called WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure (WAPI). WAPI is not part of the 802.11 standard, which relies instead on Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP).

    The existence of two different standards for WLANs, one for China and one for the rest of the world, could cause the market for wireless networking equipment to splinter in two, according to Paul Nikolich, chairman of the IEEE 802 Local and Metropolitan Area Network Standards Committee.

    "We believe that mandatory implementation of the WAPI protocols would unnecessarily fracture the world market for WLAN products," Nikolich wrote in a letter dated Nov. 23 to SAC Chairman Li Zhonghai and Wang Xudong, China's minister of information industry.

    "We are concerned that mandatory use of the standard would prohibit the use of 802.11 standard products and thereby limit choice and increase costs to users," he wrote.

    China's adoption of WAPI is meant to shore up the security of wireless networks, a concern shared by IEEE. WEP can be easily broken and this has prompted the development of a new IEEE standard, 802.11i, to plug security holes that it leaves open.

    While work on 802.11i continues, the Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry group established to certify the interoperability of products based on 802.11, has pushed equipment vendors to adopt an improved security technology called Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) as a stop-gap measure. WPA is intended to serve as a security enhancement for 802.11 until the adoption of 802.11i and is designed to be forward compatible with 802.11i.

    Wi-Fi Alliance began certifying the interoperability of WPA-based WLAN equipment in April and plans to make the technology mandatory for interoperability certification by year-end, according to the group's Web site.

    In his letter, Nikolich acknowledged that 802.11 security needs to be improved and offered to engage Chinese authorities on this subject.

    "We recognize that 802.11 security is not optimal and have been working to improve it through the 802.11i project," he wrote. "We would like to better understand your concerns and see if they can be met through the current 802.11i draft standard."

    In addition, he suggested that IEEE and SAC arrange a high-level meeting in Shenzhen, China, to discuss how to increase Chinese participation in IEEE. The proposed meeting would be scheduled to coincide with a meeting of the IEEE 802.16 Working Group on Broadband Wireless Access likely to be held in Shenzhen from May 17 to 20, 2004, Nikolich wrote.

    If no middle ground is found between IEEE and SAC on the question of WLAN standards, equipment vendors could be forced to make products that support both standards or produce two different types of WLAN equipment; one that supports GB15629.11-2003 for users in China and one based on 802.11 for the rest of the world.

    "We're trying to work closely with the Chinese," said Stuart Kerry, chairman of the IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN Working Group, adding that IEEE is committed to 802.11i.

    "We believe that 802.11 is an international standard and that 802.11i is what the world wants," Kerry said.

    However, IEEE is open to the possibility of incorporating WAPI into 802.11 to avoid splitting the market for WLAN products in two, according to Kerry. "It is complementary and we are investigating if we can encompass it as an amendment to 802.11," he said.

    Joris Evers in San Francisco contributed to this report.

    The IDG News Service is a Network World affiliate.
  2. MaskedBurrito

    MaskedBurrito TS Rookie Posts: 42

    Seems the chinese are hell bent on living by their own standards and not the standards of the rest of the modern civilized world. They're a real piece of work. It pains me that the western world bends over backwards to please them and their cheap labor force (their real power) time and time again. That country is truly the ultimate hypocrisy.
  3. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    I'm not so sure about that..

    WEP isn't up to scratch, as IEEE admitted, and has created a stop-gap WAPI until they found/implements a better solution...

    But China decided it didn't want to wait for 802.11i, and understandably chose a solution that is more secure, and won't be too hard to imlpement...

    So I don't really see much of problem here, nor hypocripsy from the chinese, only that IEEE wasn't as alert as it should be about what is going on in the world of wi-fi....
  4. Charles Hammond

    Charles Hammond TS Rookie Posts: 59

    These are some very interesting articles. Sounds much like the EU and how they like to have their own standards which always seem to oppose anything that comes from the United States. IEEE is abbreviation for an Italian Title. As an example the EU had to set up a Telephone system that directly was in conflict with how we run our telephone system. In some ways their telephone technology is leading the way in wireless and now the EU will get upset that they are not in charge!
  5. mark444

    mark444 TS Rookie

    Please read it.

    "That country is truly the ultimate hypocrisy"?
    That hurts me. I am just a Chinese high school student who happens to visit this site. I am not a 'good student' in school because I skip my English classes. However, there are some words that I understand piss me off. I do not want to be rude or disrespectful. I also understand that anyone has the freedom of speech. But, I want to tell everybody that
    1. Please, take other people's feelings into account before you start to talk. 2. And please, even if you do not care, do not say any contry is ‘truly the ultimate hypocrisy’. I think that is generalization
    It is good to be here because I see other point of views.
  6. Charles Hammond

    Charles Hammond TS Rookie Posts: 59

    A person can be against the policies of a government without being against all Chinese people. The article clearly points out what is wrong with the official Chinese policy. It does not say all chinese are stupid or anything like that. If you want to defend the policy feel free to give your reasoning.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to using a single official standard for the world (Entire Internet). It may take longer to develop but If they make the firmware upgrade friendly that will help a bit. Many American networking firms sometimes prerelease a version that they hope will be compliant with the official satandard. However, they often are sitting on the committee for the new standard or have access to the proposed standard before it becomes official. So there is an attempt to meet the new standard. Then they also make the firmware upgradeable so it can be flashed to make it completely conform to the new standard.

    China likes to make a big deal officially about their decisions. The leaders in China do not like being called into question about any decision they make. I think they suffer from the misguided notion that all of China and the world must follow the premier of China like he is an Emporer. The western world has thrown off this imperialism for quite a while now. In the USA we do not worship our leaders and consider their decisions god-like.

    China has many policies that do not make sense. They want to rule Hong Kong with an Iron Fist, which is bad for the economical freedom and the economical development of China. China also wants to do the same thing in Taiwan. If China has it's way it could ruin the great things Taiwan has accomplished. The leaders in China need to study the way people in Taiwan have flourished and learned to succeed economically in this changing world. If China ever attacked Taiwan it may severely hurt the world supply of Computer Parts. It is the people in Taiwan that are proposing and behind other countries proposing new factories associated with the computer industry to be built in China. Anything that hurts Taiwan will hurt China and will affect the world computer industry. If China attacks Taiwan it will be attacking the Global Community.

    In the news I have seen how China tries to control the Internet in their own country. By trying to control all voices of disagreement with their official policy they may be doing more harn than good. They are silencing and prohibiting the free exchange of ideas that are not completely in-line with the official Chinese Policy (Dogma). They do not understand the driving force behind the Internet. The Internet was developed by people that cooperated with each other and sometimes argued over what was the best way to construct it. They succeeded because the Internet is a way to develop things scientifically by the free and open sharing of information and ideas. Large Universities in Washington state and California and on the East Coast all worked on the same project. Then later people from other countries got involved and the Internet took off. Many advances in the computer and the Internet are helped by people from foreign countries. Bill Gates used a brilliant programmer from Hungary to help him develop Windows in the early years. Sometimes it takes the influence of people from other cultures to look at a problem and see a better solution. These are just some things to ponder. China has done some great things in the past, and they are capable of greatness in the future.
  7. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Yes indeed, I know a western country that listens to the opinions of all other countries and does not push it's selfish goals through by the means of economical pressure and military might not caring about human lives, world stability or the environment..

    Care to give any examples of that iron fist in HK?

    Ruin what? The finacial success and the breakthroughs in electronics? China has already surpassed Taiwan in manufacturing electronics and the business there is flourishing for the good of everyone.

    What has that to do with WiFi and I don't see how invading a rich country and gaining all it's resources can hurt China. Also, see above.

    You said it. Why can't the Chinese propose a better technology?
  8. Charles Hammond

    Charles Hammond TS Rookie Posts: 59

    China is always making threats and flexing their military muscle trying to freighten the people in Taiwan. I see it all the time on the news. Yet it is companies like Asus and some of the companies that make silicone wafers for processors and memory that are building facilities in China. A lot of these companies are based in Taiwan and also have large facilities in China as well. Taiwan has been good for China economically, but when the Chinese leaders make threatening comments about Taiwan like they are ready to invade, they somehow forget that they have these cooperative agreements that benefit both countries.

    It is possible that this information is hidden from the Chinese people by their cummunist leaders.

    WiFi as a standard is important. China Could have a say in the development of technology if they made their presence known. Many large corporations have people that sit on committees that work on these standards. These corporations are the ones spending the money in development for these technologies and it benefits them to have a set standard for the world. It also lowers cost for the average consumer to have one standard. The consumer can buy one product from one company and feasibly it should work with a product made by another company.

    This makes trade and competition easier. It enables people in different countries like China to make competing products that they can sell in China, Europe, Asia, and North and South America. These standards fuel a lot of industry in China. As an example, a lot of computer cases are produced in China and other countries and they all work with ATX Motherboards and ATX power supplies made in various places. This is possible because of the ATX Standards. It is good for everyone.

    In the past companies had to develop their own code just to get a hard drive or a floppy drive to work with their own motherboard. However, IBM Embraced the Chipset concept to make a standard system for the BIOS/CMOS when they came out with the first IBM PC. IBM decided to use an outside source for their PC components, and standardized the development of their first desktop PC. From that point on all the companies that wished to compete with IBM could do so more easily. It was this stardization or copying the IBM Standard that helped to accellerate both competition and development of the PC and other aspects of the computer industry. It has been good for all parties involved to a point. It did force some heavy handed people out of business, but it helped the smaller companies have a chance to succeed.

    I am not naive. I know a lot of products are actually made in China. It doesnt bother me that they are made in China. I will give you an example. I like to build my own Computers. I use Asus Motherboards. My motherboard was made in an Asus Plant inside China. This is some information about Asus:

    Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, in the heart of the world's high-tech manufacturing center, ASUS leverages world-class R&D, highly skilled workers, and cost-effective material sourcing to design technology leading solutions. With manufacturing facilities in Taiwan:Taipei, Luchu, Nankan, and Kweishan, as well as in Suzhou, China, ASUS delivers premium quality products.Currently, ASUS manufacturing facilities have a monthly production capacity of two million motherboards and 150,000 notebook computers. At ASUS, manufacturing success combines unparalleled quality with first-to-market competitiveness.

    Technically, Taiwan is part of China. Many people from Taiwan consider themselves first and foremost Chinese. ASUS is headquartered in Taiwan and also has facilities in China. This shows that Taiwan and China are good for each other because they employ chinese people and are sharing their wealth. Many companies based in Taiwan are now following this pattern. China needs to reach out to these people in Taiwan because they have a common ancestry and it would be like killing your next door neighbor to invade Taiwan. It is true that China chose the path of communism and Taiwan chose to have more freedom, but they can somehow have a mutual beneficial relationship without this stupid power struggle.

    Even though I live in the USA, I can not control everything my country does. I dont always agree with our military action, but we also help other countries that are attacked. We fight not only for our freedom, but also for the freedom of people of other lands. Even though we were in a horrible war with Japan in WWII it is us that helped to rebuild Japan after the war. Japan has become a truly great country on their own since then. They dont have to invade other lands they can just buy them. Everything does not always work out but we try to make a difference.
  9. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Yes.. Threatening other countries with war is bad.. Any country doing that should be shot.. Have you watched any Taiwanese or Chinese news channels? And you should try to make a difference between rhetoric and serious hostility. And I say it again, even if Chine conquered Taiwan, all those companies would remain, so would all the agreements and so would all the factories etc. So no big loss :p

    We already have three wireless standards: the b,g and a varieties. Adding anothyer one wouldn't make things much more difficult. Also, why do you care about the chinese consumers? They will be able to buy the network gear that works in China manufactured by Chinese companies.

    I don't see how this Chinese standard would make it impossible for Chinese companies to make WiFi products that work elsewhere and vice versa.

    Care to point out any open WiFi standard chips thet everyone can embrace and use? Actually at the moment all major wireless makers are using their own proprietary non-standard "extensions". Incompatibility galore.

    They are having this.. There are no Chinese warships blockading Taiwanese harbors and the Taiwanese aren't exactly shooting down any Chinese planes.

    That's nice.. Kick someone in the face and then hand them a tissue..
    See above.. China and Taiwan are getting along (somewhat). It is hard to change habits and overcome grudges of decades, but things are going for the better. And look at it this way.. How many countries has US invaded in the last 50 years? And how many has China invaded?

    In my opinion this WiFi thing is a move by China to grab the booming WiFi industry in the country to its own companies and stop foreign corporations from taking the money out of the country. A typical protectionist move with an added bonus of having control over the network medium.
  10. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Plus it removes a major security risk from the system...

    Actually, what China did can be considered a good thing.

    Here's an (possible) outline of what happened with 802.11i:
    A workgroup sits down and tries to find out how to best create a more secure enviroment for wifi. They come up with several solutions which are then pitced before a committee. The committee then debates which solution is the optimal, with the major companies arguing for the implementation closest to their own. After a while, they decide on what to make a standard.

    It is now up to the manufacturing companies if they want to make products with this new standard. They've currently invested a lot of money into improving the current stanard(s), and would at the very least like to get rid of their stockpiles before releaseing the "new and improved" 802.11i...

    China sat down a group of people, they came up with a modification to secure wifi. This new chinese standard is now mandatory for any wifi equipment sold in China, thus removing the current security problem with wifi.

    Now, judging from lack of availability of 802.11i in all norwegian hardware stores, I'd say that the chinese way was the better in this case, as they've got secure wifi systems, and we don't....
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