The set of alkali-activated slag cement (AASC) and concrete and the measures for set-retarding were reviewed. Due to the fast set of high and super high strength alkali-activated slag cement and concrete, an inorganic compound set retarder YP-3 was developed. The effect of the retarder on setting time and strength as well as heat evolution of AASC were tested, and the mechanism of the retarder was analysed. Results show that the retarder can regulate the initial set of high strength AASC in the range of 29hrs with little negative effect on its strength development. The retarder could react with silicate ions from liquid to rapidly form a compact film in early age of hydration of AASC, the film covered the surface of slag and obstructed R+ and OH- in contact with slag particle directly. Consequently the set of AAC was delayed.