China's version of Neuralink unveiled at tech forum

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese state-backed company on Thursday unveiled a brain chip similar to the technology developed by Elon Musk's startup Neuralink.

The company, Beijing Xinzhida Neurotechnology, developed a brain-computer interface (BCI) implant, called Neucyber, that has been tested on a monkey, allowing it control a robotic arm with only its thoughts, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency, which added that the technology was "independently developed" and China's first "high-performance invasive BCI".

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

While neither the scientists or Xinhua mentioned Musk's brain-chip startup, the unveiling of this new product at the annual tech-focused Zhongguancun Forum in Beijing 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.

(Reporting by Eduardo Baptista; Editing by Rashmi Aich)