China To Launch World’s ‘Hack-Proof’ Network By 2016

China is completing the project of the planet’s longest,
2,000-kilometer quantum communication network from Beijing to Shanghai
.
The network is considered “unhackable” and is set to start operating in
2016.

The “unhackability” is
due to the most secure encryption technology ever, the South China Morning Post reported.
 

By 2030, the network is expected to stretch all over the globe,
Xinhua news agency said.

For now, the service is to be used by the Chinese government, the
military and key business institutions such as banks. 

The plans were disclosed by Professor Pan Jianwei, a quantum
physicist with the University of Science and Technology of China
and a lead scientist behind the project. 

China Quantum Communication Network
China Quantum Communication Network

“China’s quantum information science and technology is developing
very fast and China leads in some areas in this field. Any city
in China, as long they want to, can start to build the quantum
communication network now,” he said, Xinhua reported. 

Chen Yuxiang, chief engineer for the construction of the
Beijing-Shanghai network, indicated that the infrastructure would
be ready between the end of the year and next summer. The network
also needs to be built and activated. 

The budget for the Beijing-Shanghai project is estimated at 100
million yuan ($16 million) for every 10,000 users. 

Theoretically, the quantum network can’t be hacked: should anyone
try to intercept the encryption key, the physical status of the
quantum data, or qubits, would change, and alert those who sent
the information. 

Europe, Japan and Canada are also planning to start their own
quantum networks. The US has also been looking for funds to
sponsor a 10,000-kilometer network between major cities.

Experts are sure, though, that China is ahead of everyone in the
quantum network project.

“The Chinese are really pushing the boundaries. They are moving
at an incredible rate. No one else around the world has plans
that are this ambitious,” Raymond Laflamme, the head of the
Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo in
Canada, told The Telegraph. 

“China is putting itself in the position of having secure private
information that other countries will not be able to tap,” he
added.