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China Set For Quantum Leaps in Spook-Proof Communications


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Artist's representation of quantum computing.

China is on schedule to launch the world's largest spook-proof quantum communications system by next summer.

Credit: Reuters

China is on schedule to launch the world's biggest spook-proof quantum communications system in the next six months.

Project chief scientist Pan Jianwei says the network will stretch 2,000 kilometers (over 1,200 miles) from Beijing to Shanghai, and will be the longest and most extensive quantum communications system in the world.

The project's applications will be experimental and small scale at first, but the quantum communications network could eventually cover Hong Kong. "We hope the Chinese network can be extended to cover the whole globe in one or two decades," Jianwei says.

He notes the research team is working with Alibaba, ZTE, and other Chinese tech companies to commercialize the technology, and potential non-government clients include banks, financial institutes, and research centers.

China has been investing heavily in developing quantum technology. Beijing plans to send the world's first quantum communications satellite into space in June, and a Chinese quantum computer could match the power of Tianhe 2, the world's fastest supercomputer, in some areas in five years, according to Jianwei.

Tsinghua University professor Luo Donggen says he is interested in quantum technology's applications in the life sciences, such as building artificial brains to model or even surpass human brains.

From South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
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