(Washingtonpost.com) A must-read article discussing China’s drive to dominate the quantum technology field. China’s formidable investment in quantum technology is helping it catch up with Western research in the field and, in a few areas, pull ahead to the dismay of the United States.
Beijing is pouring billions into research and development and is offering Chinese scientists big perks to return home from Western labs. China’s drive has sparked calls for more R&D funding in the United States, and helped trigger concerns in the Trump administration that some types of scientific collaboration with China may be aiding the People’s Liberation Army and hurting U.S. interests.
Last year, China had nearly twice as many patent filings as the United States for quantum technology overall, a category that includes communications and cryptology devices. The United States, though, leads the world in patents relating to the most prized segment of the field — quantum computers — thanks to heavy investment by IBM, Google, Microsoft and others.
A recent Center for a New American Security paper warned that, “China’s national advances in quantum communications and computing … will be leveraged to support military purposes.” Two U.S. university associations said their members were strengthening security protocols and building closer relationships with the FBI and intelligence agencies, after hearing “increasing concern” from the federal government about “foreign interference” in university research.
In June, the Energy Department, one of the main agencies funding physics and quantum-science research, prohibited its employees and contractors from responding to certain foreign countries’ talent-recruitment programs.
NOTE: The interviews in this article were conducted at a conference in Shanghai this summer. Lawrence Gasman, who presented at the conference and is the Founder and President of Inside Quantum Technology was an interviewee and shared the insights he has gained from IQT’s industry analyst reports and stewardship of the IQT conference series.