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China Unveils Brain Chip Similar to Elon Musk’s Neuralink

China says its fully homegrown brain-computer interface was tested on a monkey, allowing it to control a robotic arm with only its thoughts

Illustration to show China's effort to develop a brain chip implant
Last year, China classified brain-computer interface (BCI) technology as an important "cutting-edge emerging technology". Image: Alamy; edited by Aarushi Agrawal


A state-backed Chinese firm unveiled a brain chip on Thursday similar to the technology developed by Elon Musk’s neurotech startup Neuralink.

The company, Beijing Xinzhida Neurotechnology, developed a brain-computer interface (BCI) implant, that allowed a monkey to control a robotic arm with only its thoughts and grab a strawberry, state-run Xinhua news reported.

The report said the ‘core brain chip’, dubbed ‘Neucyber’ was “independently developed by Chinese scientists” and was the country’s first “high-performance invasive BCI”.


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State-backed Global Times claimed the Neucyber was made of three core components — high-throughput flexible microelectrodes, two high-speed neural signal acquisition devices and a generative neural decoding algorithm, each of which were developed in China.

Chinese state media also claimed the ‘high speed’ chip consumed low power and had computing power for intelligent visual target detection that was 3,000 times that of “current high-performance commercial chips”.

Chinese brain chip
“Neucyber” as seen at the Zhongguancun Forum. Image: Global Times

Xinhua cited the Chinese Institute for Brain Research (CIBR) as a co-developer of the NeuCyber system.

Furthermore, the controlling shareholder of Xinzhida Neurotechnology is the Beijing municipal government’s state asset regulator, according to corporate database Qichacha.

Xinzhida’s brain chip was unveiled at the annual tech-themed Zhongguancun Forum in Beijing, where the focus was also on semiconductors, artificial intelligence, green technology and quantum computing this year.

While neither the scientists or Xinhua mentioned Musk’s brain-chip startup, the unveiling highlights China’s aim to catch up with Neuralink.

This comes after the country’s ministry of industry and information technology at last year’s Zhongguancun Forum classified BCI technology as an important “cutting-edge emerging technology”.

Neuralink has already implanted its brain chips in humans, while China has yet to begin human trials.


  • Reuters, with additional inputs from Vishakha Saxena


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Vishakha Saxena

Vishakha Saxena is the Multimedia and Social Media Editor at Asia Financial. She has worked as a digital journalist since 2013, and is an experienced writer and multimedia producer. As a trader and investor, she is keenly interested in new economy, emerging markets and the intersections of finance and society. You can write to her at [email protected]


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