China vows to accelerate IPv6 move to reverse current disadvantages

The Chinese government is pouring huge investments to develop the next-generation Web protocol as IPv4 resources in the country are nearly exhausted.
Written by Cyrus Lee, Contributor

According to a report by the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), by the end of December 2011, the number of Chinese Internet users reached 513 million, while the number of IPv4 addresses allocated in China was only about 330 million, representing a huge resources gap that had seriously hindered the Internet development in the territory.

Back to 2008, China has surpassed the US to become the world's largest Internet-using population. A research report by Ministry of Industry and Information Technology expects the total IP address demands in China will exceed 34.5 billion in the next five years.

Compared with IPv4, which only owns room for about 4 billion addresses, the IPv6 provides also unlimited addresses, which is crucial for developing economies including China where the demand for new IP addresses are huge.

However, to meet the huge demand is not an easy job in China as only about 11 percent of union companies with the CNNIC are ready for the transition to IPv6, according to a deputy director of CNNIC Liu Bing. At the same time, the US is also dragging the legs of the whole world in the process of implementing IPv6, a China News report said on June 7, citing some exports who pointed out countries like the US which still owns ample IPv4 resources are less keen for the IPv6 development.

The National Development and Reform Commission, China's top planner, has announced in February that it will come up with RMB 8 billion ($1.28 billion) to fund the deployment of next-generation Web protocol in the country. It will first spend over RMB 1 billion ($160 million) to subsidize key industries including electricity, oil and security employing the new-generation web protocol, according to a Shanghai-based securities newspaper in May.

The China government has also revealed this March that it will carry out small-scale commercial pilot of IPv6 network by the end of 2013, and realize the interoperability between IPv4 and IPv6 in mainstream business in by the years of 2014 and 2015. The value of the industry is expected to exceed RMB 500 billion ($79 billion) by 2015, according to Chinese reports.

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