Chinese company Beijing Xinzhida Neurotechnology unveiled a brain computer interface (BCI) implant to rival Elon Musk’s Neuralink at the 2024 Zhongguancun Forum (ZGC Forum). 

The ZGC Forum is an annual event attended by tech companies and researchers from over 40 countries. The event is held in northwest Beijing, which is home to over 17,000 tech companies. 

The news was first reported by state-run news agency Xinhua. 

The implant, named Neucyber, is reported to have been tested on monkeys, allowing them to control a robotic arm. 

Xinhua reported that Neucyber had been “independently developed” by Beijing Xinzhida Neurotechnology. 

The technology has not yet been subject to human trials.

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Neuralink only received FDA approval for human clinical trials in May 2023. In February 2024, the company announced that a human participant had been able to use a computer mouse using the implant. 

BCI implants could give autonomy to patients who may be unable to move or speak for themselves.  

However, BCI implant technology has sparked controversy due to its potential for data privacy leaks, ethical concerns and its risky implantation procedure that could lead to infection. 

In March 2024, BCI implant companies created an industry group to build trust with regulators and the public. 

Before BCI technology becomes widespread, data privacy, commercialisation and ethics will need to be addressed to foster consumer trust.