(AsiaNikkei) A recent breakthrough in quantum computing by Google has put a spotlight on the global competition to harness a technology with the potential to upend foundations of today’s digital world.
Quantum computing is among the science and technology innovation projects listed in Beijing’s current five-year plan. Big tech companies are involved in the field, including Alibaba Group Holding, which partnered with the Chinese Academy of Sciences to set up a quantum computing lab in 2015.
The U.S. released a national quantum science strategy last year, and Washington has earmarked roughly $200 million in annual funding for research in the field. IBM, Microsoft and other tech heavyweights are also part of America’s quantum science plans.
Japan was once a leader in the quantum race. In 1999, tech group NEC developed a fundamental building block of quantum computing technology. But Japanese companies largely gave up on basic research around 2000, letting other players take the lead.