- Baidu, SenseTime, Baichuan open artificial intelligence products to the public
- Chinese media says 11 companies have been approved by the government
- Approvals expected after Beijing passed generative AI rules
- Shares in Baidu, SenseTime are skyrocketing
Aug. 31 (Reuters) – Four Chinese technology companies including Baidu Inc (9888.HK) and SenseTime Group (0200.HK) on Thursday released artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots to the public after receiving government approval, as it seeks to In which the Chinese government to expand its scope. The use of such products amid competition with the United States.
Baidu, China’s leading Internet search company, said in a statement that its Ernie Bot chatbot, which is similar to ChatGPT, is now fully accessible to the public. A SenseTime spokesperson told Reuters via email that the SenseChat chatbot is now “fully available to serve all users.”
Two AI startups, Baichuan Intelligent Technology and Zhipu AI, also announced similar public launches on Thursday.
Shares of Baidu and SenseTime jumped in early trading in Hong Kong, rising 3.1% and 2.7% respectively in the broader market, which was trading down 0.4%.
Unlike other countries, China requires companies to submit security assessments and obtain a permit before launching AI products into the mass market.
And the authorities have recently accelerated efforts to support companies to develop artificial intelligence as the technology increasingly becomes a focus of competition with the United States.
Chinese media reported that a total of 11 companies have received approvals from the government, including TikTok owner ByteDance and Tencent Holdings (0700.HK). Neither company immediately responded to requests for comment about their AI plans.
Some local media said other technology companies working on large-language models for artificial intelligence, including Alibaba Group (9988.HK), had not received government approval. Alibaba did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“I think companies that get approval have the advantage of acting early and being able to improve their products faster than competitors,” said Kai Wang, analyst at Morningstar.
Technology-focused newspaper The Information reported Tuesday that OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, backed by Microsoft (MSFT.O), is on track to generate more than $1 billion in revenue over the next 12 months.
The approvals were widely expected after China published a set of temporary rules aimed at regulating generative AI products for the public that went into effect on August 15.
Previously, companies were only allowed to run small-scale public tests of AI products, but with the new rules, companies have expanded testing of their AI products by enabling more features and participating in more commercialization. No prior government approval is required for corporate-targeted products.
Xun Yang, an analyst at Blue Lotus Capital Advisors, said the government’s move to greenlight AI products could lead to consolidations in the industry.
“Many people have been rushing into the big business of language prototyping, but the industry may soon consolidate. Only those with the data and technical ability will be able to move forward,” he said.
(Reporting by Orvi Duggar and Jyoti Narayan in Bengaluru and Josh Yee in Hong Kong; Reporting by Mohamed for The Arabic Bulletin) Editing by Thomas Janowski, Richard Chang, Brenda Goh and Miral Fahmy
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