China’s launch of the first quantum satellite Tuesday will push forward efforts to develop the ability to send communications that can’t be penetrated by hackers, experts said.
The satellite launched into space from the Jiuquan launch base in northwestern China’s Gobi desert will allow Chinese researchers to transmit test messages between Beijing and northwestern China as well as other locations around the world.
If the tests are successful, China will take a major step toward building a worldwide network that can send messages that can’t be wiretapped or cracked through conventional methods.
“It moves the challenge for an eavesdropper to a different domain,” said Alexander Ling, principal investigator at the Centre for Quantum Technologies in Singapore. “Lots of people around the world think having secure communications at a quantum level is important. The Europeans, the Americans had the lead, but now the Chinese are showing the way forward.”