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RFID News Roundup

Alien Technology Signs Deal for Chinese Venture, Appoints New CEO ••• Trimble intros solution for real-time construction equipment identification, tracking ••• Replicon to automate time-tracking via iBeacons ••• NCR retail solutions get real-time big data support via Emcien’s platform ••• Kit Check debuts RFID Seal Tags for pharmacy kits ••• King Abdullah Port adopts Identec Solutions’ wireless monitoring system for refrigerated containers
By Beth Bacheldor
Oct 09, 2014

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: Alien Technology; Trimble; Replicon; NCR, Emcien; Kit Check; and King Abdullah Port, Identec Solutions.

Alien Technology Signs Deal for Chinese Venture, Appoints New CEO

With an eye on advancing RFID, especially in China and the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market, Alien Technology has announced it has signed a definitive agreement for an international joint venture that will result in $35 million in new investments. Partners in the joint venture includes new investor Shanghai Ruizhang Investment Co., Ltd., and Alien's current investors, and is designed to help accelerate company growth through the increased development of new technologies and a strong, operational presence in China.

Chris Chang
Alien's board of directors also announced today that Chris Chang has been appointed to the role of chief executive officer. Prior to joining Alien, Chang was responsible for overseeing Marvell Technology Group's business strategy, sales and marketing, business development and government relationship for the Greater China Region. At Marvell, Chang drove key strategic partnerships with Chinese service providers and industry players, resulting in double-digit revenue growth, according to Alien. Chang earned a master's degree in business administration from The Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin.

The new international venture, Chang says, will enable Alien to more adeptly market and sell in China, where the company currently has only representatives in the region to help facilitate sales. Under the terms of the international venture, Alien will be able to operate within the regulatory structure of the Chinese market. "We see a huge potential in the market," says Chang. "We can now become deeply entrenched in China, and provide businesses there with local solutions that meet their specific requirements." Alien remains an independent operating company with its headquarters in Morgan Hill, Calif., and no operational changes are planned.

Chang says IoT offers another great market opportunity for Alien around the world. "Personally, I believe after the Internet boom of the last 20 years, the next boom will be in hardware, with IoT." In China, particularly, where the RFID and IoT market is still young, there are opportunities for using the technologies for traffic management, for driving more efficient manufacturing, and for authenticating goods to combat product counterfeiting and for food safety, he says.

Alien remains committed to the ultra-high frequency (UHF) passive RFID market, and Chang says his vision for Alien's futures is to continue strengthening Alien's leading role in the UHF RFID market and to make Alien a major force in IoT's future. The company will continue investment in R&D here in the United States, and will also invest in R&D for local markets such as China. It will also continue to look for strategic partnerships. The joint venture is already working on partnerships within China, but Chang says these partnerships are still in early stages, and "it is too soon to announce anything."

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