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Quantum communication is a secure way to transfer information, resistant to eavesdropping by hackers. The encrypted data is transferred as ones and zeros along with a quantum key, ensuring that unauthorized individuals cannot access the information.

Scientists from Russia and China claim to have achieved quantum communication encryption using secure keys transmitted by China’s quantum satellite ‘Mozi’, which has paved the way for the development of both national and international quantum communication networks.

Quantum communication encryption uses quantum mechanics to establish secure communication channels and aims to create unbreakable encryption- which makes it very appealing for applications of high security (like transmitting sensitive information for finance, government, and defense).

According to Interesting Engineering, the researchers managed to cover a distance of 3,800 kilometers between a ground station near Moscow and another in China’s Xinjiang region, transmitting two encoded images secured by quantum keys.

Ground-based quantum key distribution does have its limitations due to the loss of photons over long distances, limiting optical fiber cable transfers at around 1,000 kilometers. China’s Mozi, the world’s first quantum communication satellite, overcomes this issue and allows for long-distance quantum transmission, enabling the establishment of a national quantum network in China, spanning thousands of kilometers.

Russian researchers collaborated with the Mozi team back in 2020, conducting experiments between a ground station in Moscow and a ground station near Urumqi to explore the potential of long-distance quantum communication. A report by the SCMP report states that Russia wants to be a leader in this technology, and they are thinking about working with BRICS nations (an intergovernmental organization comprising of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) to create a big quantum communication network.