AliCloud unveils quantum cryptography cloud security solution


14 October 2015
Pan Jian Wen of CAS and Dr Jian Wang of Alibaba at the launch of the quantum cryptography cloud security solution

AliCloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, has unveiled its first quantum computing-based solution, a quantum cryptography cloud security solution that increases the security of data transmissions across networks.

Today's announcement at the The Computing Conference 2015 held in Hangzhou, China, builds on AliCloud's partnership with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) that was first announced earlier in July this year.

Quantum cryptography is recognised as the most secure encryption method known and immune to eavesdropping, code breaking and man-in-the-middle attacks. According to Pan Jianwei, professor and executive vice president of the University of Science and Technology of China and a CAS academic, the technology is "100% secure". 

The solution however is not commercially available just yet. Small scale trials have been successful and AliCloud will conduct larger proof-of-concept projects later this year before launching it commercially. Pan also indicated that on the cards were trials planned for secure connections based on this technology connecting Beijing and Shanghai, as well as Shanghai and Hangzhou.

According to Pan, this public cloud solution could be used in any applications that require security and hence has wide ranging applications across various industries.

Referring to the partnership with AliCloud, Pan said, "The speed at which we have completed our initial trials with the AliCloud Cloud Platform shows the advanced state of both cloud and quantum information technologies within China, and our future projects are likely to benefit from the same synergy."

Pan added that conservatively, he hopes to see quantum computing based technologies rolled out commercially in about 10 years, and it may take 15 to 20 years before it is commonplace in consumer applications.

"More than a startup incubator"

AliCloud also announced at the event that it has partnered Foxconn Technology Group to launch a program called Taofu Chengzhen (淘富成真), which aims to foster innovation among startups and small and medium enterprises, while enabling them to get a headstart in commercializing their ideas.

The program will see AliCloud contribute cloud computing and big data support via AliCloud, while Foxconn will offer best practices in design, development patents, and supply chain management capabilities. AliCloud and Foxconn will also collaborate with Intel, & Valley Capital to create a unique infrastructure to drive innovation and growth of these entrepreneurs.

Dr Jian Wang, CTO of Alibaba GroupDr Jian Wang, CTO of Alibaba Group (right) explained that the program was different from a typical startup incubator program. "We are aiming to reduce the cycle for innovation, and reduce the time it takes from idea to product to market. It really is a new model to think about innovation."

The program has been on trial for six months in YunQi town in Hangzhou and has successfully supported more than 280 business projects. Dr Wang added that he expected to scale the program beyond China soon.

He also added that through the program, startups will also hopefully use AliCloud's cloud computing platform and Foxconn for production.

This year's The Computing Conference 2015, held on 14 and 15 October in Hangzhou, is Alibaba Group’s largest-­ever, with an estimated 24,000 attendees and over 200 partners, including its AliCloud Marketplace Alliance Program partners at the event. Additionally, 200,000 watched the live stream of this year's keynote session on the morning of 14th October.