Home China pushes to compete with Neuralink with new brain tech committee

China pushes to compete with Neuralink with new brain tech committee


  • China plans a BCI Standardization Committee to develop and regulate brain-computer interface technologies.
  • The initiative aims to compete with Western advancements like Elon Musk's Neuralink and enhance domestic innovation.
  • Public opinions on the proposal are invited until July 30, highlighting a collaborative approach to shaping BCI's future.

China has unveiled a proposal to establish a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) Standardization Technical Committee as part of its Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). The plan aims to spearhead the development and regulation of BCI technologies, similar to those being developed by Elon Musk’s Neuralink.

The proposal, announced by the Department of Science and Technology, outlines a framework for creating and refining standards essential to the BCI field. These standards will include a range of aspects including brain information collection, data communication, and the application of BCI in various industries such as healthcare, education, and consumer electronics.

BCIs are a relatively new area of technical research where signals from the brain are used to control an external device, such as a robotic limb. Neuralink Corp, co-founded by the Tesla billionaire in 2016, is working on an implantable device and is seeking people with quadriplegia to participate in a clinical trial, according to its website.

In April this year, the Chinese state-backed company Beijing Xinzhida Neurotechnology developed a brain implant called Neucyber, which was tested on a monkey, allowing it to control a robotic arm with its thoughts. According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, the technology was “independently developed” and is China’s first “high-performance invasive BCI.”

The ministry is seeking public opinions on the matter, with responses due by July 30.

Why is China competing with Neuralink?

The government’s announcement indicates China’s intention to “accelerate the development of similar technologies to rival western competitors like Neuralink” after mainly focusing its efforts on academic research settings.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged China to “step up its domestic innovation” due to other countries’ dominance in certain strategic technologies. Specifically, Beijing is investing billions of dollars into its semiconductor industry as the US considers further restrictions on China’s access to chip technology.

By establishing clear standards and fostering a collaborative environment among industry, academia, and government, the country hopes to advance its capabilities in this emerging field and potentially compete with leading global players like Neuralink.

Featured image: Canva

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Suswati Basu
Tech journalist

Suswati Basu is a multilingual, award-winning editor and the founder of the intersectional literature channel, How To Be Books. She was shortlisted for the Guardian Mary Stott Prize and longlisted for the Guardian International Development Journalism Award. With 18 years of experience in the media industry, Suswati has held significant roles such as head of audience and deputy editor for NationalWorld news, digital editor for Channel 4 News and ITV News. She has also contributed to the Guardian and received training at the BBC As an audience, trends, and SEO specialist, she has participated in panel events alongside Google. Her…

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