Chinas Largest Retailer Expands RFID Pilot Program

Working in conjunction with VeriSign, Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.), Bailian Group Ltd. (Shanghai) has developed plans for the second phase of a pilot project to expand usage of Electronic Product Codes (EPCs) and RFID. Bailian Group is using the EPCglobal Network to track merchandise as it moves through the company's global supply chain.

The first phase of the pilot project involved simulation-based testing of RFID and information infrastructures, modeled on the hypothetical movement of products through a supply chain. The second phase will track the movement of actual products tagged with EPC-enabled RFID tags. VeriSign will reportedly provide critical components of the EPCglobal Network for phase two of the pilot, including Object Naming Services (ONS), EPC Information Services and Track & Trace Services.

"VeriSign has provided valuable expertise around the critical data infrastructure and has demonstrated the ability to support the security and scalability needed to improve visibility across our vast trading network," said Shi Jin Xiu, assistant general manager, Bailian Logistics.

For the second phase of the project, Bailian Group is inviting the participation of key suppliers, based on their level of interest in integrating RFID technology into the supply chain. Participating suppliers will tag shipments in their distribution centers, and send those shipments to a Bailian Group DC in Shanghai.

The Bailian Group reportedly employs 200,000 people and operates over 7,000 retail and department stores across the country. In a 2004 tally of the top enterprises in China, Bailian Group and its business lines ranked first with $68 billion in annual sales. Its stores account for approximately 18% of all retail sales in China.

Source: VeriSign, Inc.

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