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China’s quantum link from Beijing to Shanghai is near completion

Researchers from the University of Science and Technology in China are about to finish a 2,000 kilometer fiber optic link which will be used to connect quantum networks in four cities in the country. The link will start from Beijing and end in Shanghai and will be intended for secure communications that cannot be hacked theoretically. The process to be accomplished is called quantum key distribution (QKD), which creates shared cryptographic keys, sequences of random bits, that can be used to encrypt and decrypt data. A quantum science satellite has already been launched in August that will test the distribution of keys beyond China's borders. QKD technology has already been used in 2007 to secure the sending of votes from an election in Sweden. It was also accomplished by a firm in the US called Battelle to transmit information securely from a company's headquarters to its production facility.

Key Takeaway: 

China’s quantum link, a 2-kilometer fiber optic link which will serve as the backbone for secure quantum communications and will run from Beijing to Shanghai, is near completion.

Rachel Courtland
Publication Date: 
October 26, 2016