Why China's winning the quantum computing race



Quantum computing is likely to be the next giant leap forward in the computing world. It promises to be incredibly powerful for certain applications, far eclipsing the capabilities of current computers. And for once, it’s not Silicon Valley that’s leading this high-tech revolution – it’s China. You probably know that traditional computers store and manipulate data using bits to signify ones or zeroes. Quantum computers use something similar called quantum bits, or qubits. If you think of a bit as a sphere, a traditional bit can only be here (one) or here (zero) A qubit can be in those places, but it can also be other locations on the sphere. This is called superposition, and without getting into complicated physics (that I don’t really understand) here’s what it means: quantum computers have the potential to do a lot more with a lot fewer bits. And that means that especially for some kinds of calculations, they’ll be much, much faster. For now, this is all mostly theoretical. You can’t go out and buy a quantum computer because we’re still trying to figure out how to get qubits to behave the way we want them to. But if anybody’s winning the race to get qubits in line, it’s China. China has already made inroads in quantum communications, using entangled particles to transmit information instantly and completely securely over 1,000 KM between Beijing and Shanghai, and even further via a quantum satellite in space And the government is also pouring money into the quantum computing race. In fact, it’s building a $10 billion research center, slated to open in 2020 to support its efforts But that center’s just the tip of the iceberg. China’s government has proved itself willing to invest tremendous sums in relevant research at a time when governments like the US have been slashing science budgets. And it’s not just the public sector, either. In October, for example, Alibaba announced a new $15 billion fund for R&D into “foundational and disruptive” tech including quantum computing. The stakes of this race are quite high. Pan Jianwei, a high-profile scientist in the field, has said that the first true quantum computer will have a million times more computing power than every computer currently on earth combined. Getting the first quantum computer would give China a massive leg up over every other country in everything from communications tech to scientific research to military advancement. It’s no wonder, then, that many Western governments and scientists have expressed concerns about how quickly China’s moving. But can anybody catch up? Unless the US government has made impressive progress on some classified quantum computing project, it seems unlikely. Many observers agree that based on what’s publicly known, China seems to be in the lead, and there’s no sign that it’s planning to slow down anytime soon.

20 Comments

  1. Tired AF said:

    Fall in line is what the communists do best

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  2. 95 yolles said:

    They stole US Technology. They have no human right. They don’t speak English. They have no Queen, they are communist, They use children labour and sweat factories. Send our Navy.
    Otherwise send Trump. He is dump enough.

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  3. Justin Huang said:

    Quantum, AI, 5g networks, transportation infrastructure. China building bridges for the future while Mr.Dumps is burning alliances

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  4. Johnny Jang said:

    With 3X the US population and with 10X more engineers, you do the math. Of course the way we wasted our resources on wars does not help.

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  5. Albert Chu said:

    Later US will accuse China of stealing this technology from them !!! This is their culture when they can’t win!!!

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  6. James Wisrik said:

    USA… Is like a small town of Stupid Christians spending all day gossiping about everyone and them going home drinking, abusing, molesting their family.

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  7. johneygd said:

    Rumors saying that china already has built a fully working reliable powerful quantum computer, if this is true, then the us should hold down their breath.

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  8. Gei Xiong said:

    The Americans are just Immigrants. Either they're borned in the States or newly arrived. There are no true Americans except the Natives. All American Geniuses are Imported. Without new Immigrants to supply America with new fresh Minds and new innovate ideas people, America is the Yesterday's Dream. It is self imploded. Of course, when the Cat is in the box, it cannot think outside the box…The cats catch mouses. But in the caged. It needs to be feed..no one feeds it, the cat will die. No intelligent people wants to be in a country that is governed by Tyrants, self center policy . Ignorant, and Arrogant self proclaim Rightousness toward everybody else.

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  9. KGB said:

    we're proud of you china!

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  10. michael douglas said:

    IF AMERICA AND THE WHITE MANS COUNTRIES STOP HIRING CHINESE STUDENTS OR EMPLOYEES AND FORCE THE STOPPAGE OF TECH TRANSFER FOR AMERICAN COMPANIES DOING BUSINESS IN CHINA. LETS SEE HOW FAR THEY WILL GET. I BET NOT FAR

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  11. Haha MissMiss said:

    It's no wonder China is under attack on all fronts by the West. If there is any fake news, it is that of China's threat to the world and American benevolence.

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  12. Tycoon Tchung said:

    China's winning the quantum computing race? Oh, NO! 'coz the f****'em jealous-idiot-American say? They will say something with ' American style old tune' ——-"STEAL FROM AMERICA" , just like Korean said that Confucius is Korean! Oh, how funny and rediculous!

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  13. intbild said:

    lol.. bullshit.. ibm has allready the first quantum computer

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  14. Zhang Chong said:

    CHINA POWER!

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  15. Jequan Baugh said:

    while china was beating U.S. at quantum computers and artificial intelligence we were busy saving fetuses. We cant even win the moral high ground conversation because we dont even have universal healthcare.

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  16. Dan Rom said:

    USA#1.

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  17. Kay y. Hong said:

    And America keeps complaining about China "stealing" its technology

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  18. Simon Carlile said:

    China's investment in A.I. development is nothing to sneeze at, either.

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  19. victor bruun said:

    well maff be hard. and then privilidgeses be prilividged. Social justice and 189 genders!!1111!
    American edumcation and society is in such a god awful mess along with protected outdated industries and a hardline stalinist type waste coming from negative interest rate that there is no chance in hell of making america great again ever again. Expect to become another assyria that was great once but only ruins in reality. And before that can rebuild itself into anything wait for the 23rd century.

    June 27, 2019
    Reply
  20. Alex Bao said:

    我潘院士团队,7月2日实现了6光子18个量子纠缠,独步全球!感谢潘院士团队,感谢我国科技工作者们,你们才是我们持续发展的“智能核心”!btw,希望我们的可控核聚变也早日有所突破!

    June 27, 2019
    Reply

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