News, Technology

After Google, Many Chinese Tech Giants Have Announced ChatGPT’s Rivals

Written by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman ·  2 min read >

Multiple Chinese technology giants over the past week, after the sudden boom of the first of it’s kind AI tool, ChatGPT, have announced their intentions to launch ChatGPT-style products, joining the artificial intelligence arms race sparked by the popular chatbot.

But announcements from China’s biggest firms have not said they are working on all-encompassing platforms like the U.S.’ ChatGPT, a move which could worry Beijing which heavily censors internet content. Instead, companies from Alibaba to NetEase have spoken about the technology in application-specific scenarios.

Paul Triolo, the technology policy lead at consulting firm Albright Stonebridge, told CNBC that:

“Given all the regulatory focus on both tech platforms and AI algorithms over the past year by a range of government bodies, the big tech platforms are not eager to draw attention to themselves by putting out a chatbot/generative AI tool that gets them in hot water,” 

ChatGPT is developed by U.S. firm OpenAI. The product allows people to type questions and receive answers on a huge range of topics. It is an example of generative AI, which is trained on huge amounts of data and can generate text-based responses or even images.

Chinese authorities have heavy control over internet content, often blocking sites or censoring content that does not sit well with Beijing. ChatGPT is not officially blocked in China but OpenAI does not allow users in the country to sign up.

The fact that ChatGPT will answer questions on sensitive topics in China is likely a concern to Beijing’s authorities. Triolo said:

“ChatGPT poses some unique challenges for Beijing. The app, trained on western uncensored data, represents a more powerful type of search engine than Google or others that are also uncensored outside of China,” 

“I would not be surprised if the service was eventually blocked in the world’s second-largest economy.”

Baidu, Alibaba,, and NetEase, some of China’s biggest tech firms, have in the last week announced their plans for ChatGPT rivals. It comes after two years of intense scrutiny from Chinese regulators on the country’s technology firms, which has seen the introduction of new regulations covering issues such as antitrust and data protection.

Chinese technology firms have had to adapt to a new regulatory situation and their announcements around their ChatGPT responses, which have been circumspect, reflect that reality.

Alibaba announced via its cloud division that it is working on a ChatGPT-style of technology that could be integrated into its cloud computing products. NetEase meanwhile said that its education subsidiary Youdao has been working on generative AI, adding that the technology could be integrated into some of its education products.

The big firms have focused very much on enterprise applications and have been quite specific as they try to strike a balance between investing in key technology and trying to avoid rocking the political boat.

 Xin Sun, senior lecturer in Chinese and East Asian business at King’s College London, told CNBC via email:

“In their responses, these tech giants face a dilemma: on the one hand they need to convince consumers and investors that they are not lagging behind in the development of the new technology,”.

“On the other hand, they also need to be extremely cautious to avoid being perceived by the government as developing new products, services, and business models that could raise new political and security concerns for the party-state (or even cause radical changes to the existing regulatory landscape).”

Such a balancing act could mean that the use of ChatGPT-style technology in China may look different to the U.S., given the unique internet landscape there. Artificial intelligence development remains a key priority for China as it continues its technology competition with the U.S.

Last month, China introduced first-of-its-kind regulation on so-called deep synthesis technology, which are synthetically generated or altered images, videos, or text that are made using a form of artificial intelligence. The regulation is overseen by the increasingly powerful Cyberspace Administration of China.

 Winston Ma, adjunct professor of law at the New York University School of Law, told CNBC via email.

 Winston Ma, adjunct professor of law at the New York University School of Law, told CNBC via email:

“The ‘Deep Syntheses Tech’ regulation broadly covers the algorithms dealing with multiple-dimension of data and information. Together with the earlier CAC algorithm rule, it’s very likely that ChatGPT-like algorithms in China will need to be registered and supervised by the CAC,”

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Written by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman
Muneeb is a full-time News/Tech writer at He is a passionate follower of the IT progression of Pakistan and the world and wants to educate the people of Pakistan about tech affairs. His favorite part about being a tech writer is tech reviews and giving an honest and clear verdict to his readers. Contact Muneeb on his LinkedIn at: Profile