Chinese Physicist Reportedly Said Team’s Quantum Computer Bested Google’s by a Million-fold

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Pan Jianwei

While verification remains, the South China Morning Post is reporting that a Chinese quantum computer team built a device that achieved quantum supremacy — and did so at a performance level far beyond Google’s recent work.

However, the team seems to be walking back from previous claims that were making the rounds in China earlier this week.

According to the newspaper, Pan Jianwei, a physicist from the University of Science and Technology of China, told members at a lecture in Westlake University, Hangzhou, on Sept. 5 that their devices had recently achieved “quantum supremacy” one million times greater than the record currently held by the quantum computer built by Google.

Later, the physicist said they needed to “further verify” the claim.

The team later said in posts on Chinese social media that the statements made at the lecture may have been taken out of context. The results were preliminary, and there was “no 100 per cent guarantee until further verification,” Pan was quoted as saying in the statement.

Pan’s quantum computer is a photonic implementation of bosonic sampling. While they have yet to publish on this latest reported achievement, Pan and his team have published their prior work on bosonic sampling late last year.

In a 2019 research paper in Nature, Google earlier said its computer completed a calculation in about 200 seconds that would keep the fastest supercomputer busy for 10,000 years.