The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Shaping the quantum internet: Evidence of US-Chinese strategic competition over quantum technologies from interviews and patent data ERGMs

Shaping the quantum internet: Evidence of US-Chinese strategic competition over quantum technologies from interviews and patent data ERGMs
Shaping the quantum internet: Evidence of US-Chinese strategic competition over quantum technologies from interviews and patent data ERGMs
This thesis is the first study to investigate how the strategic competition over innovative technologies between the United States and China shapes the emergence of the quantum internet. A quantum internet will connect first-generation quantum computers over secure quantum channels to provide and distribute at scale a new type of compute resource that promises better security and a significant speedup of compute power.

The US and China consider emerging technologies in general, and quantum internet technologies in particular, of utmost importance in their efforts to contain their strategic rival. This thesis investigates how the quantum internet is being framed in security terms in this aggravating rivalry, and what this means for the future of the internet. As warnings of the dangers of a fragmented internet increase, the thesis maps out the significant obstacles on the way to maintaining interoperability.

In an original contribution to research methods, this thesis is the first application of ERGMs to the analysis of patent data and their citation trees in the domain of quantum internet technologies. It conducts a statistical analysis of 4,200 patent family records and the 10,000+ patents they cite. Following a mixed-method approach, this thesis also evaluates a corpus of interviews with GCHQ, the British government and several internet governance and China experts.

It finds robust evidence for two separate and siloed quantum research programmes in the US and China. These programmes are further characterised internally by significant homophily and the preferential treatment of domestic industries. Findings further suggest a tentative edge for China in the domain of quantum communication, an important technology for realising the quantum internet. China's significant progress in developing components for a quantum internet is found to have great potential to give its increasingly assertive stance on internet governance additional momentum.

The thesis argues that China should be expected to try and offer what may be called 'quantum patronage': a complete package of quantum technology stacks and appropriate standards in line with its recent 'China Standards 2035' plan. Quantum patronage may offer hitherto non-aligned countries critical technologies to secure their communication and build up quantum compute resources in exchange for a commitment to allegiance and strategic alignment.

The empirical findings of this thesis inform the building blocks of a coalitional game theory model of standards-finding for the quantum internet. It recommends the US make side payments to China as compensation for easing its strategic ambitions, in particular around its `New IP' many-nets proposal. The model is a first step towards designing a mechanism for finding a global standard for the future quantum internet. If the fragmentation of the quantum internet is to be avoided, the US and its allies should be prepared to incur new and unexpected political and financial costs to ensure long-term interoperability. Given the empirical evidence that this thesis presents, which points towards fragmentation, this could be a price worth paying for an open quantum internet.
University of Southampton
Krause, Juljan
11b9cc07-afe6-4db5-8a6e-e72624ae8439
Krause, Juljan
11b9cc07-afe6-4db5-8a6e-e72624ae8439
Weal, Mark
e8fd30a6-c060-41c5-b388-ca52c81032a4
Enemark, Christian
004b6521-f1bb-426a-a37b-686c6a8061f6

Krause, Juljan (2023) Shaping the quantum internet: Evidence of US-Chinese strategic competition over quantum technologies from interviews and patent data ERGMs. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 421pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis is the first study to investigate how the strategic competition over innovative technologies between the United States and China shapes the emergence of the quantum internet. A quantum internet will connect first-generation quantum computers over secure quantum channels to provide and distribute at scale a new type of compute resource that promises better security and a significant speedup of compute power.

The US and China consider emerging technologies in general, and quantum internet technologies in particular, of utmost importance in their efforts to contain their strategic rival. This thesis investigates how the quantum internet is being framed in security terms in this aggravating rivalry, and what this means for the future of the internet. As warnings of the dangers of a fragmented internet increase, the thesis maps out the significant obstacles on the way to maintaining interoperability.

In an original contribution to research methods, this thesis is the first application of ERGMs to the analysis of patent data and their citation trees in the domain of quantum internet technologies. It conducts a statistical analysis of 4,200 patent family records and the 10,000+ patents they cite. Following a mixed-method approach, this thesis also evaluates a corpus of interviews with GCHQ, the British government and several internet governance and China experts.

It finds robust evidence for two separate and siloed quantum research programmes in the US and China. These programmes are further characterised internally by significant homophily and the preferential treatment of domestic industries. Findings further suggest a tentative edge for China in the domain of quantum communication, an important technology for realising the quantum internet. China's significant progress in developing components for a quantum internet is found to have great potential to give its increasingly assertive stance on internet governance additional momentum.

The thesis argues that China should be expected to try and offer what may be called 'quantum patronage': a complete package of quantum technology stacks and appropriate standards in line with its recent 'China Standards 2035' plan. Quantum patronage may offer hitherto non-aligned countries critical technologies to secure their communication and build up quantum compute resources in exchange for a commitment to allegiance and strategic alignment.

The empirical findings of this thesis inform the building blocks of a coalitional game theory model of standards-finding for the quantum internet. It recommends the US make side payments to China as compensation for easing its strategic ambitions, in particular around its `New IP' many-nets proposal. The model is a first step towards designing a mechanism for finding a global standard for the future quantum internet. If the fragmentation of the quantum internet is to be avoided, the US and its allies should be prepared to incur new and unexpected political and financial costs to ensure long-term interoperability. Given the empirical evidence that this thesis presents, which points towards fragmentation, this could be a price worth paying for an open quantum internet.

Text
Juljan-Krause-final-thesis-a3b - Version of Record
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
Download (6MB)
Text
Final-thesis-submission-Examination-Mr-Juljan-Krause
Restricted to Repository staff only

More information

Submitted date: 8 March 2023
Published date: 19 July 2023

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 479033
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/479033
PURE UUID: 862c0150-68fd-4163-8b8a-076f57b2a77b
ORCID for Juljan Krause: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1956-6720
ORCID for Mark Weal: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6251-8786
ORCID for Christian Enemark: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1833-0927

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 19 Jul 2023 16:30
Last modified: 27 Oct 2023 02:02

Export record

Contributors

Author: Juljan Krause ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Mark Weal ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Christian Enemark ORCID iD

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×