Quantum Communication Becomes China’s Cutting-Edge Technology

Quantum communication refers to a new type of communication mode using quantum entanglement to encrypt and transmit information, which is also known as the most secure communicating type. Both Europe and the U.S. are now actively developing quantum communication systems, but China has the fastest advancement.

From the initial wire-tapping to password-stealing software and later to today’s sophisticated password cracking system, the risk of information security is increasingly high today in highly developed communications. In Nie Jimin’s view, the VP of Guoke Quantum Communication Network Corporate, with the advent of 5G, communication security is more closely related to people’s life and property. “Internet of things, car networking and others will be carried by 5G. In this case, its information security is not just right or wrong like the past but will directly affect vehicle safety. For example, some basic control of the objects including future industrial 4.0 is closely related to safety,” said Nie.

The security and risk of communications have always been intertwined. Today, quantum communications are thought to be able to solve safety problems once and for all. Quantum has entanglement effect and exist in different places with different probability. Thus, each measurement of the quantum encryption system would change the original state of the system. It sounds a little convoluted and to put it simply, if we use quantum encryption, the system is not only undecipherable, but we can tell whether someone else tried cracking the password.

So far, several countries have made plans to develop quantum communications. Due to look-ahead deployment, China now has fruitful achievements. In last August, China launched the world’s first quantum communication satellite, Micius.

Zhu Yu, the VP of China Information Industry Association (CIIA) revealed the research progress of Micius, “in August this year, Micius has finished three scientific goals ahead of the schedule, namely, thousand-kilometer-level quantum entanglement distribution, high-speed quantum secret key distribution between the satellite and the ground and quantum teleportation between the ground and the satellite.”

In November 2016, the “Beijing-Shanghai Line”, a quantum secret communication backbone network, successfully opened. In June this year, China established a special task group called quantum communication and information technology in China Communications Standards Association (CCSA), launching research on national standard.

Wen Ku, the director of Information Communication and Development Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said, they would fully play to the role of quantum communication standard setting group and organize related research units to further strengthen the tracking of technical standards, so as to study and formulate relevant standards timely. They would work hard to achieve substantial breakthroughs in equipment and network standard related to quantum communication as soon as possible.

Experts believe that China’s quantum communication technology is three to five years in advance of international level. Nie said, while ‘bearing fruits’ in technology, some areas in China had started to apply quantum communication technology so as to drive industrialized development through market application.

Nie said, “at present, the main application of quantum communication is banking field, such as some information submitted to China Banking Regulation Commission (CBRC) and ICBC carrying remote disaster recovery data on quantum circuit. Also, Beijing Rural Commercial Bank has built a quantum loop in Beijing to support its daily operations.”


This article originally appeared in CNR News and was translated by Pandaily.

Click here to read the original Chinese article.