17 October 2017
"The satellite marks a transition in China's role -- from a follower in classic information technology (IT) development to one of the leaders guiding future IT achievements," said Pan Jianwei, lead scientist of QUESS and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). "Satellite-based quantum key distribution can be linked to metropolitan quantum networks where fibers are sufficient and convenient to connect numerous users within a city over 100 km. We can thus envision a space-ground integrated quantum network, enabling quantum cryptography- most likely the first commercial application of quantum information- useful at a global scale," Pan said.
The establishment of a reliable and efficient space-to-ground link for faithful quantum state transmission paves the way to global-scale quantum networks, he added.