China launches its first smartphone with quantum encryption

A Chinese telecommunications service provider has launched a smartphone with quantum technology and guarantees an “unhackable” device.


A Chinese telecommunications service provider has launched its first quantum – encrypted smartphone , a day before World Telecommunications and Information Society Day.

Tianyi No. 1 2022 was released by China Telecom , this smartphone assembled with a quantum security encryption module and a specially designed SIM card that can encrypt and decrypt voice calls on the phone using quantum key distribution , said the company.

The Chinese telecom giant and startup QuantumCTek  established a joint venture in 2021 to develop quantum-based communication and bring this technology to the smartphone market.

quantum phones

Unlike traditional cryptography, quantum technology uses single photons in quantum superposition  states whereby the key is embedded to ensure unconditional security between disparate parties.

The communication is therefore difficult to “hack” as any attempt to intercept the key would be immediately known to both sender and recipient. 

“When a user starts a chat with quantum security, a random secret key will be generated to verify their identity ,” said Zhang Rutong, an engineer at QuantumCTeck, according to the Chinese portal CGTN . “After verification, the quantum network will generate a new key in real time to encrypt the voice data.”

“The key is randomly generated, difficult to crack, and is discarded immediately after calling ,” Zhang added.

Prototypes of the product are now on the market for testing in some regions of China , the company said.