How Much Money Has China Already Invested into Quantum Technology?

By Amara Graps

It is hard to estimate how much the Chinese government has already invested in quantum technology, but here is an attempt to provide a best estimate using verifiability and open sources as materials.

The Sleuthing Strategy:

1) A China quantum expert foundation + 2) top-down : China policy interests + 3) bottom up: implementations.

The foundation: 1) an insider’s view:  report by Chinese quantum workers: “Quantum Information Science” by Qiang Zhang, FeihuXu, LiLi,  Nai-Le Liu and Jian-Wei Pan, 2019, and 2) a broad, objective analysis:”Quantum Hegemony” by Elsa B. Kania & John K. Costello, published in 2018. With this foundation, I have filled in the gaps, especially in recent years.

Quantum Research and Technology Projects

Chinese quantum technology funded subjects include quantum information research, quantum control, quantum sensing, quantum materials, quantum dots, quantum cryptography, quantum chips, plus the quantum communication that China is actively advancing.

Quantum Communication

Of the latter, China’s most visible quantum technology implementations are their Quantum Secure communication Networks –- regional “Trunks” — combined with their quantum satellite project (nicknamed Micius or Mozi (Chinese: 墨子).

China’s first integrated quantum communication network (January 2021). Credit: University of Science and Technology of China.

Quantum Research

China’s National Natural Sciences Foundation, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) provide the funding for many of the other quantum technology areas. Additionally, CAS and the University of Science and Technology of China, with support from idsnstitutes all over China, are building a new National Laboratory for Quantum Information Science, aimed to become the world’s largest quantum research facility. Construction is underway with reportedly 1600 construction workers. To help you sort out the name: Chinese social media refers to the new laboratory…

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