Quantum physics moves into fast lane of commercialization
With its forward-looking layout and innovation-driven ethos, China's Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone has fully committed itself to consolidating its leading position in the cutting-edge development of quantum communications - seen by many as one of the best future defenses for protecting internet and communications networks.
Experts say the future of secure communications lies in quantum encryption, which goes far beyond current conventional electronic communications networks by using the arcane and esoteric precepts of quantum physics. China has, through various exciting projects, moved to the forefront of the commercialization of quantum technology.
Zhangjiang officials said that in 2014, the zone began construction of the first phase of the Shanghai Quantum Communication Industrial Park to support QuantumCTek Co. The company, which specializes in quantum information technology applications, is building the Lujiazui financial quantum communications demonstration network. According to the zone, 17 leading financial institutions and organizations, including Bank of China and Bank of Communications, have joined the network.
In 2016, Zhangjiang signed cooperation agreements with the Chinese Academy of Sciences Holdings, also named CASH, to launch CAS Quantum Network Co, to promote relevant industry development.
Officials said CAS Quantum Network has achieved "outstanding results" in the development and application of quantum secure communications technology over the past few years. It is building a national level wide-area quantum secure communications networks. The project will start with building quantum networks in Shanghai and the surrounding Yangtze River Delta area.
Zhangjiang authorities added that by 2020 a secure communications network based on quantum technologies would be built that will cover Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province, as well as the Yangtze Economic Belt and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
During the 2018 China (Shanghai) International Technology Fair, which will be held on April 19-21, CAS Quantum Network will sign strategic cooperation agreements with institutions.
The agreements - signed by the Beijing Electronic Science and Technology Institute, the Institute of Technology and Standards at the China Academy of Information Communications Technology, the School of Cyberspace Security at the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications and others - will strengthen cooperation in sectors such as quantum communications network planning, testing and certification and the enhancement of network services.
The partnerships aim to ensure sustainable development of China's quantum communications network and advance the world-leading quantum communications industry, so as to contribute to China's economic development and information security.
Night view of the Shanghai Pudong Software Park in the Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone.