On Tuesday, China Telecom announced on its official WeChat account that it had invested 3 billion yuan ($434 million) to create the China Telecom Quantum Information Technology Group Co.
Operating out the eastern Chinese province of Anhui, the new company will focus on the research and development of quantum technology, increasing the rate of advances in the field, and promoting the development of the industry nationwide, according to the statement.
The statement marks just the latest instance of a Chinese telecommunications giant focusing on the development of new quantum technology. It reflects the overall position of the government in Beijing, as it seeks to see China pull ahead of other nations in the development of quantum computing.
In its statement China Telecom said, “[This] is a practical action to thoroughly study and implement the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important instructions on the development of quantum technology.”
Across the globe, from governments to researchers, there has been immense pressure to harness the power of quantum computing – a very powerful means of harnessing the unique physics and nature of the subatomic world, where ultra-cold particles can exist in ephemeral “clouds” of multiple different forms. Once harnessed, these quantum states can be leveraged into computational power far greater and faster than is capable with today’s semiconductor chips.
Last December China Mobile, the largest telecom carrier in the world, with 900 million subscribers, inked a deal with Chinese startup Origin Quantum, which will involve developing quantum computing technologies which will overcome computational bottlenecks that arise within 5G and 6G technologies.
Currently much of the field of quantum computing remains theoretical however, with actual applications of the technology still being very basic and limited in their scalability.
Nevertheless, according to market researcher IDC, global governments and companies will invest roughly $16.4 billion in quantum research and development by the end of 2027.