At the end of 2017, China’s Communist Party Central Committee and the State Council jointly circulated an Action Plan for Promoting Scale Deployment of Internet Protocol Version 6(IPv6)(“Plan”), and set detailed targets and steps for the next few years, aiming full transition to IPv6 by 2025.
According to the Plan, China is aiming to establish the world’s largest commercial network deploying IPv6, and formulate a next generation internet technical system and industrial ecosystem with independent intellectual property rights, within five to ten years. The target numbers of active users for the proposed IPv6 are 200 million by the end of 2018 and 500 million by the end of 2020, accounting for more than 20% and 50% of internet users in China, respectively. Finally, China is aiming to have the largest IPv6 network in the world by the end of 2025, in terms of network scale, quantity of users, and network traffic scale.
China is in urgent need of a more developed IPv6 network because IP addresses originating from the existing IPv4 network are nearly exhausted, and will be unable to meet the fast development of internet industry, including mobile internet, IoT, big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. According to publicly available statistics, each Chinese internet user was allocated only 0.45 IPv4 address, which is not only insufficient for actual needs, but also leads to cybersecurity problems. By generating IP addresses consisting of 128 bits (instead of 32 bits under IPv4), the number of IPv6 addresses enormously expanded, allowing for an almost unlimited number of appliances in China being connected to the internet.
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