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Baidu Ends Quantum Operations

Company plans to donate its quantum equipment to research organization

Berenice Baker, Editor, Enter Quantum

January 4, 2024

1 Min Read
Baidu's Qian Shi quantum computer.
Baidu's Qian Shi quantum computer. Baidu

Chinese online giant Baidu has announced it will no longer pursue quantum computing and is donating its quantum laboratory and research equipment to the government-backed research agency, Beijing Academy of Quantum Information Sciences (BAQIS).

The announcement, delivered Wednesday by a company spokesperson, follows a similar move by Alibaba, which closed its DAMO quantum research laboratory in November. Alibaba donated its equipment to Zhejiang University, which also employed some of its staff.

Baidu and BAQIS previously collaborated on quantum research. BAQIS launched a quantum computing cloud platform last June offering access to three quantum computers with up to 136 qubits. 

Baidu established its quantum computing research center in 2018. The company launched its 10-qubit Qian Shi superconducting quantum computer in September 2022.

Commentators suggest that part of the reason Chinese tech companies are stepping away from quantum computing research may be sanctions that have stemmed the supply of equipment and overseas research opportunities.

President Biden also signed an executive order in August 2023 that limits U.S. citizens from investing in companies based in China, Hong Kong or Macau that work in quantum information technologies, semiconductors, microelectronics or AI. 

However, China is turning to allies, including Russia, to collaborate on quantum technology research.

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About the Author(s)

Berenice Baker

Editor, Enter Quantum

Berenice is the editor of Enter Quantum, the companion website and exclusive content outlet for The Quantum Computing Summit. Enter Quantum informs quantum computing decision-makers and solutions creators with timely information, business applications and best practice to enable them to adopt the most effective quantum computing solution for their businesses. Berenice has a background in IT and 16 years’ experience as a technology journalist.

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