Quantum Communication Strong in China

Quantum Communication Strong in China

By Sofiane Boukhalfa

Last Sunday, Chinese government officials and scientists announced the world’s first ultra-secure quantum encrypted network, to be used in Jinan, in the Shandong Province, between governments and Party offices. The system reportedly cost up to $20 million to implement, and has been in testing mode since May to validate the approach.

The network has exchanged secure telephone calls, faxes and files – with a success rate of more than 99 percent, Liu Hong, a professor at Shandong University who was involved in the testing, told Xinhua News Agency.

Jinan hosts the world’s largest and most versatile metropolitan area network for researching and testing quantum communication on a citywide scale, according to Xinhua News Agency, and will most likely be used as a development platform for future research into this area of communication.

According to Wang Jianyu, a quantum researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences: “Quantum communication is regarded as the most secure because its encryption is based on quantum entanglement, in which two or more subatomic particles affect each other simultaneously, regardless of the distance between them”. Quantum communication permits more secure communications, as potential eavesdroppers will alter the state of entanglement, and thus alert the authorities of this fact.

China has been very active in this space in the past couple of years. For example, China launched Micius, last year. It is the world’s first quantum satellite, capable of transmitting information from space. A couple of days ago, Chinese scientists used Micius to claim the record for the longest distance over which entanglement has been measured, using this network to transmit information between earth and Micius. China has also built a 2,000-kilometer land-based quantum link between Beijing and Shanghai. The link is the longest in the world and runs through Jinan and Hefei, Anhui province.

With its strong potential for security and speed in transferring information, quantum communication is another emerging technology that will affect numerous industries as it becomes more developed. China has put in the investment and effort to possess an enormous advantage in this sector compared to other countries.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com

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