back to article China ALSO building encryption-cracking quantum computer

It’s not just the NSA that’s said to be working on a quantum computer – China is also pulling out all the stops to beat its arch rival with a crypto-cracking machine of its own. The National Natural Science Foundation of China funded 90 quantum-based projects in 2013, with the order from Beijing to get the job done …


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  1. CLD
    Big Brother


    He who controls the internet controls the present;

    He who controls the present controls the past;

    He who controls the past controls the future.

  2. Katie Saucey

    China most likely will succeed, only after they've ripped off the research from the west and the US finally goes completely broke.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. The last doughnut

        Bit negative?

        Or indeed learn to use the apostrophe.

      2. Mark 65


        "America will continue to print money until China gets totally fed up with them & royally fuck them up. Which China can do right now if they really want based on the volume of debt they hold for the USA."

        There's a saying in finance that goes along the lines of "if you owe 100,000 then the bank owns you, if you owe 100,000,000 then you own the bank"

        China holds so much US debt in order to keep their currency from appreciating which would destroy their exports, and appreciate it would have under normal conditions. The flow is US buys Chinese goods, then China buys US debt to neutralise the currency movement. They need a cheap yuan/renminbi which means they shed only crocodile tears.l

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. jphb

          Re: Erm...

          I've heard an alternative version - "If you owe the bank a million you're in trouble, if you owe the bank a billion, the bank's in trouble" - might need adjustment for inflation ;-)

          1. Mark 65

            Re: Erm...

            If you owe the bank a billion you're probably one of their senior traders these days.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why steal it when you can buy it from corrupt politicians?

      There's no need to rip it off when government officials will sell it to them for campaign contributions, a la the 1996 Clinton re-election campaign. Johnny Chung got hung out to dry on that one but there was another Democratic Party campaign contribution bundler at the time that was never mentioned. His name is Gary Locke and he is the current U.S. Ambassador to China.

      Back in 1998 the Clinton administration arranged the sale of long range missile guidance technology from Loral Corporation to China over the objections of the commerce and state departments and the CIA. The head of Loral was a Clinton campaign contributor. Gary Locke, who has family ties in China, was a campaign contribution bundler at the time, Bill Clinton was president, Hillary Clinton was first lady, and Leon Panetta was the White House chief-of-staff. It's inconceivable that Leon Panetta didn't know what was going on.

      Hillary Clinton was secretary of state when Gary Locke became ambassador to China and around that time Leon Panetta was either secretary of defense or head of the CIA. I don't remeber the exact timing now. Lo and behold China produces a copy of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Some months later there was a brouhaha about Chinese hacking military contractors. What would be a better way to cover up the Chinese getting the F-35 plans in the diplomatic pouch from Gary Locke than to blame it on hacking?

      So why steal it when you can buy it with the interest from U.S. debt and get it in the diplomatic pouch?

      A bit more info on the Loral guidance technology. In its first test the missile blew up and it was "lost at sea" when the missile crashed in the Pacific ocean never to be seen again. But no one can verify that what was lost was actually the Loral circuits. Some time thereafter China shoots down one of its own satellites, as if to say, "We can do yours also if we want." And where might N. Korea have gotten missile guidance technology sufficient to threaten the west coast of America? You think they developed it in-house?

      Hillary Clinton in 2016? Kiss your quantum computing secrets and anything else the Chinese want goodbye.

    3. jgarbo


      You mean like how the Yanks ripped-off Nazi rocket technology to get their own ships into space (beaten by the Russian's German Jews) ? Most technology is copying/stealing, and sometimes improving, from forerunners. Yet the Yanks must still ask/beg the Russians for rocket engines for their own fizzers. Ah, originality.

  3. Kangaroo Pete


    Factoring a cryptographically relevant 1-2000 bit number involves about 10,000 logical qubits. With error correction you might need a billion qubits, according to a recent Stanford paper. The largest current universal quantum computers are around 10 qubits, without error correction. Growth rates are about 1 qubit/year.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Timing

      What? So you're saying they will need to build a computer the size of a planet, that may take millions of years to complete?

      1. Naughtyhorse


        that's all

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: 42


          that's all"

          Easy to factorize. That's 6*9.

  4. Christian Berger Silver badge

    At least they might publish some of the results

    Since they will undoubtedly benefit most from commercial quantum computers.

    However we must not forget that quantum computers, even if they are possible, don't mean the end to all encryption. Symmetrical encryption schemes like AES are apparently not at risk. It's only certain asymmetrical encryption schemes which can be broken this way.

    So why are they researching it? They have huge amounts of money and it seems like something interesting to do with it.

    Always keep in mind that one of the strategies of secret services is to make you believe they can crack encryption anyhow, and that therefore it's no use encrypting.

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: At least they might publish some of the results

      Because much of that symmetrical encryption still depends on asymmetric encryption for authentication purposes. Carrying a physical device with a shared key beforehand isn't always an option.

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: At least they might publish some of the results

        True, however we can now look at those encryption schemes and see what we can do.

        Besides, over a billion GSM phones rely on shared keys. :)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. magnets


    I seem to recall that you can buy uber powerful NdFeB magnets off unitednuclear, they top out near 1 Tesla 1mm away from the magnet.

    Crazy expensive, but might be another way to do quantum experiments at home.

    Is it possible that this might be the breakthrough that makes AI possible?

    21/2/18 might yet be the Singularity..

    1. The last doughnut

      Re: Re. magnets

      Ferromagnetic materials saturate at around the 2T range. To go stronger you need electromagnetic coils probably superconducting ones.

  6. strum Silver badge

    Yin & Yang

    I suppose the Chinese QC will be both Yin and Yang at the same time.

  7. loneranger


    "We hope to help China catch up with the West. It is not impossible that we may even win the race in the future.":

    Not likely. I guess they haven't noticed all of the TR-3B Black Triangles floating around US Air Force bases. The black projects running since the 1950's make Chinese technology look like ancient history.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Hah!

      The biggest black project being Obama, and look how that turned out.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Colossus, meet Guardian!

  9. John Savard Silver badge

    Fiendishly Clever, Those Americans

    The U.S. spends chicken feed on playing with an experimental toy quantum computer, and so China starts a gigantic cost-no-object program to build a genuinely useful one, when the technology may be decades away?

    This may work out as well as the Strategic Defense Initiative, which contributed (along with Chernobyl) to the collapse of the Soviet Union when they realized they'd have to spend themselves into bankruptcy to overcome it.

  10. mhenriday

    Zheziang university ?

    «"The value of the quantum computer to the military and government is so great, its cost has never been considered," Zheziang university professor Wang Haohua told the paper.»

    Phil, you wouldn't want to consider telling interested - or bemused - readers just where «Zheziang university» is located, would you ?...


  11. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    And the Reg "Quantum Crypto" BS continues

    a quantum computer capable of cracking most kinds of encryption systems

    So a couple of weeks back we had Ian spouting this nonsense, and now it's Phil. Have the Reg hacks all decided to repeat this in the hope that it becomes true? Are you going to start telling us that vaccines cause autism next?

    I suppose there aren't enough real things to worry about.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. vaccines

    Didn't the main proponent of this theory get "outed" because her "autistic child" turned out to have uncontrolled epilepsy which when treated normalised the poor child?

    Re. QC, it seems that the magnet approach might actually work. I'm still waiting on parts but it looks like any microSD with density over 32GB ie 64 and 128GB x2 or better will work.

    Am seeing supply current spikes when reading and writing in a strong magnetic field, in fact this might prove the idea could work.

    In order to detect this you need very sensitive equipment such as a 'scope and current probe, a good way to do this is parallel a 22 ohm thin film non inductive resistor with your 'scope and then monitor the current.

    Normally these cards read max 22mA and write at 100 but under strong fields the current spikes in a way suggesting remapping of cells and other "Fun Stuff".

    Note, under certain conditions the card may be sensitive to clock speed on the USB bus so it is best to use a variable clock setup to optimise things.

    cough Raspberry Pi /cough

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