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China Backs Off WAPI Proposal

Washington -- China agreed Wednesday (April 21) not to implement a proposed wireless encryption standard widely opposed by U.S. companies.

Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi announced the decision to indefinitely delay implementation of the Wireless LAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure, or WAPI, standard following day-long talks with U.S. trade official here.

The standard was to have taken effect on June 1.

Industry groups that have been lobbying the Bush administration for months to block the Chinese deployment praised the decision.

"This is a very positive outcome for our trade relationship with China," said Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) President Rhett Dawson. "The decision by the Chinese to continue to develop the WAPI standard through the international standards process will benefit the Chinese and global industry and consumers everywhere."

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