China Seeks Quantum Codebreaking at Any Cost

Following recent Snowden revelations about the American NSA’s efforts towards quantum computing, South China Morning Post’s Stephen Chen reports that Beijing has ordered the development of a quantum computer regardless of cost. Two approaches currently under investigation in China involve computation within diamonds and intense magnetic fields.

The possible uses of the quantum computer make it the holy grail of intelligence encryption. It could be used to break even the most secure codes used by banks, governments and militaries around the world.

While there is no sign that China is close to developing a practical, working model, it has pulled out all the stops to build the ultimate code-breaker.

[…] The National Natural Science Foundation of China, for instance, funded 90 quantumrelated projects last year.

Professor Wang Haohua, a physicist at Zhejiang University, who is trying to build a quantum computer with superconducting materials, said the central government was so eager – even desperate – to have one that scientists had been told to ignore non-technical constraints such as cost and size. [Source]