Clouds hang low over Chinese WLAN standard

By , IDG News Service |  Mobile & Wireless

When Directive 237 was announced in October 1999, concerns were raised by foreign businesses about its scope. In response, SEMC issued a clarification in March 2000 which stated the directive only applied to specialized hardware and software used for encryption and decryption and stated that mobile phones, computer operating systems, Internet browsers and other products would not be affected.

Whether that clarification still applies is not clear, Stevenson-Yang said, noting Chinese officials had told her "the clarification only applies to what was available in the market at that time."

The implementation of Directive 237 with the Chinese WLAN standard significantly expands the directive's scope beyond that defined in the clarification, and raises the possibility that the directive could be applied for encryption systems used in mobile phones, DVD players, Web browsers, media player software, and other products, the USITO briefing document said.

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