Back in 2003, Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, decided making RFID (radio frequency identification) mandatory to its top 100 suppliers. This decision single-handedly pushed RFID out into the public domain for discussion and adoption in a big way.

The company started implementing RFID since January 2005 after conducting pilot tests at its distribution centers in Dallas. At present around 100 Wal-Mart suppliers use RFID tags. Wal-Mart is continuing with its RFID tag initiatives by adding new uses for the supply chain technology and is getting more partners and suppliers to comply with its RFID mandates. Currently this retailing giant is upgrading their systems for another 200 of its suppliers to become RFID compliant by the end of 2006. It's expected that another 300 suppliers will be RFID-compliant by the end of 2007, bringing the total to 600.

Driven by the mandates issued by Wal-Mart and other European retailers, the RFID market in China reached 1.6 billion RMB Yuan in 2005 and strong growth is expected in the coming years. It's predicted that China would supply more than five trillion tags annually to Wal-Mart. In the coming years, China is also expected to become a large consumer market for RFID products as well. RFID technology would also be used in 2008 Olympics to be held in Beijing.

(Via RFID Gazette)