United States May Take Action to Curb China’s Quantum Ambitions

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The United States, which has taken several actions to hinder China’s high tech and deep tech sectors, now may be considering curbs to its quantum industry, several Asian and U.S. media outlets are reporting.

Citing security reasons, the U.S. may implement an expert ban on technology critical to artificial intelligence and quantum computing to China. In Oct. 7, high-end computer chips and advanced chip-making exports were blocked, according to the Asian Times.

Bloomberg reports that the ban is in the consultation phase currently. Officials are considering the ramifications of a ban and outlining parameters of the restrictions.  While this is all in the preliminary stages, the ban may also require other countries to uphold any ban. The U.S. would also like consult with allies on the ban and discuss possible implications for the allies’ quantum efforts.

The importance of quantum computing technology was alluded to by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in a speech last month on technology, competitiveness and national security. Sullivan reiterated the need to “maintain as large of a lead as possible” over rivals, which, presumably would mean China.

Sullivan said: “Fundamentally, we believe that a select few technologies are set to play an outsized importance over the coming decade. Much like the Pareto Principle, we can imagine that eighty percent of our overall success will turn on what we do in twenty percent of the technologies.”

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He called out three families of technologies that will be of particular importance over the coming decade: microelectronics, quantum information systems, and artificial intelligence.

He added that the technologies were not just economic in importance, but also critical for military uses.

“Advancements in computing hardware, algorithmic design, and large-scale datasets are leading to new discoveries in virtually every scientific field. They are new sources of economic growth. They are also driving advanced military modernization efforts.”

China, already stung by the earlier technology bans, will likely have a strong reaction and will escalate the already cascading relations between the two countries.

If you found this article to be informative, you can explore more current quantum news here, exclusives, interviews, and podcasts.

Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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