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Next-gen encryption race heats up after Google's quantum leap

US and China lead in state-backed research, with Japan also launching effort

Google CEO Sundar Pichai with the company's quantum machine. (Photo courtesy of Google)

TOKYO -- The race to build digital security for the quantum computing era has begun as the U.S. and China lead state-backed efforts, with Japan also joining the foray by enlisting the help of the private sector. 

The rise of quantum computers has sent a shudder through industries that rely on secure data. The lightning-fast computers can break through today's digital security technology with ease, a prospect that has prompted a global scramble for stronger encryption.

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