This article is more than 1 year old

China plots new Great Leap Forward: to IPv6

It'll be a doddle because we invented it, claims state-owned organ Xinhua

China has claimed it invented IPv6, according to state-controlled newswire Xinhua.

The outlet on Sunday reported the Middle Kingdom's plan to ramp up IPv6 adoption. That plan has probably been implemented because, with more than 700 million Internet users at the end of 2016, China has likely struggled to find sufficient IPv4 addresses.

So the Communist Party has decreed a plan to get around a quarter of its Netizens (200 million) onto the much bigger IPv6 address space by 2018, rising to 500 million users on the protocol by 2020.

“By the end of 2025, network, applications and terminal devices will fully support the adoption of IPv6 in China, and it will have the largest number of IPv6 users in the world, according to the plan”, the official press agency added.

That's in line with what's necessary world-wide. Since IPv4 addresses are depleted everywhere except in Africa, the only ways to expand the number of Internet users are to use IPv6 or to deploy carrier-grade network address translation (NAT).

Scaling NAT systems forever is not best practice, for China or anyone.

The surprise for Vulture South came at the end of the Xinhua story:

"The IPv6 network, first developed in the 1990s in China, allows a much higher theoretical limit on the number of IP addresses than the current IPv4 system" (emphasis added).

We presume a translation issue attributed v6's invention to China, since RFC 2460 which defined the protocol was written in 1998 by Stephen Deering and Robert Hinden, both of them American. Perhaps Xinhua is referring to China's plan for a "Next Generation Internet" based on IpV6. ®

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like