Alibaba, China think-tank to open quantum computing lab

Friday, 31 July, Beijing : A leading Chinese think-tank and e-commerce giant Alibaba have joined hands to develop quantum computers that can process data billions of times faster than current digital computers.

Jointly established by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Alibaba, a new computing laboratory to be set up in Shanghai is expected to produce a general-purpose quantum computer prototype with 50-100 quantum bits by 2030, scientists were quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.

It will combine Alibaba’s strength in traditional computing, cloud computing and CAS’ prowess in quantum computing and AI, they said.

Pan Jianwei, vice president of University of Science and Technology of China and a leading scientist at the lab, said the lab is in Shanghai as they expected high demand for quantum computing from the city’s financial sector.

Unlike regular processors, which store information in binary bits (0 or 1), quantum processors use quantum bits, which can hold values of 0 and 1 at the same time.

This “superposition” can allow many more calculations to be performed simultaneously, the report said.