satellite-to-earth link established between quantum satellite "Micius"

Beijing, China. Jinan, the capital of East China’s Shandong Province aims to build up a secure quantum fiber link connecting the province, ramping up efforts to nurture the nascent cutting-edge technology to world-class level.

Jinan’s mayor Sun Shutao said in a local government report that the city, aiming to become China’s Quantum Valley, should cultivate the newly emerging quantum computing and communications industry and build a secure quantum fiber link connecting the east and west of Shandong, domestic news site reported on Tuesday.

According to Shandong’s guidelines on digital infrastructure construction released on March 23, the secure quantum communications line, Qilu, will be constructed based on several cities in the province -Jinan, Zibo, Weifang and Qingdao – and will meet communications demand in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta and major overseas cities.

On March 8, Jinan rolled out the nation’s first industry planning for quantum communications, in which it proposed its 2022 targets: to forge eight to 10 top international research laboratories for frontier quantum information and quantum technology, to cultivate a number of internationally advanced quantum enterprises, and to strive to achieve a quantum information industrial scale of 2 billion yuan ($280 million).

Secure quantum communications are based on quantum key distribution (QKD) technology. Thanks to the non-reproducible characteristics of quantum states, the technology theoretically guarantees eavesdropping will be detected.

In 2017, China launched a 2,000-kilometer quantum fiber link connecting Beijing and Shanghai, the first in the world, allowing unhackable communication between the cities.

It was also the world’s longest and most sophisticated quantum link, and it served as the backbone connecting quantum networks in four cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Jinan and Hefei in East China’sAnhui Province.

(In association with Global Times)