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staunch proprietary position on what China calls its Wired Authentication
and Privacy Infrastructure (WAPI)–implemented on Dec. 1 as part of the
nation’s GB 15629.11-2003 Wi-Fi standard–caught the wireless-LAN industry
off-guard. The ruling means that any Wi-Fi chip or system imported into
China or manufactured there for domestic use must employ the WAPI
encryption scheme, which is incompatible with IEEE 802.11. The standard
was created by the China Broadband Wireless Internet Protocol Standards (BWIPS)
group, and no details of the encryption algorithm have been disseminated
to non-Chinese chip makers (although Intel Corp. said that it’s reviewing
a copy of the spec).

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