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Explained: Chinese tech firms working on ChatGPT-style technology

Like Microsoft and Google, Chinese tech giants such as Baidu and Alibaba as well as smaller start-ups have been working on AI projects for years

(FILES) This file photo taken on September 6, 2022 shows an employee walks past the company logo at Baidu's headquarters in Beijing. - Chinese internet giant Baidu on November 22, 2022, reported third-quarter revenues of 32.5 billion yuan ($4.6 billion), representing a year-on-year increase of 2 percent, according to the company's earnings report. (Photo by Jade GAO / AFP) (AFP)

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The global buzz around Microsoft chatbot ChatGPT has spread to China, shoring up stocks in artificial intelligence (AI) related firms and prompting a flurry of local companies to announce rival projects.

Like Microsoft and Google, Chinese tech giants such as Baidu and Alibaba as well as smaller start-ups have been working on AI projects for years.

Chatbots in China mostly focus on social interactions whereas ChatGPT, which learns from vast amounts of data how to answer prompts by users in a human-like manner, performs better at more professional tasks, such as programming and essay writing.

Here is a list of Chinese tech companies that have recently made announcements on AI technology:


Baidu Inc said on Feb. 7 it would complete internal testing of a ChatGPT-style project called "Ernie Bot" in March.


Alibaba Group on Feb. 8 said it is developing a ChatGPT-style tool currently in internal testing. The e-commerce giant said large language models and generative AI have been areas of focus since it formed its research institute Damo Academy in 2017.


Tencent Holdings said on Feb. 9 is conducting research on the ChatGPT-tool technology and the firm will continue to invest in AI research based on its current technical reserves in foundation model, machine learning algorithms and natural language processing.


E-commerce company JD.Com said on Feb. 10 it plans to launch a product similar to ChatGPT that it said will be called ChatJD and will be aimed at serving other businesse.

China Telecom

China Telecom Corp is developing an industrial version of ChatGPT for the telecommunications field and which will use AI in some customer service functions, local Chinese media reported on Feb. 18.


Gaming firm NetEase plans to deploy large language models technology to serve its education business, a source familiar with the company told Reuters on Feb. 8.

360 Security Technology Inc

360 Security Technology Inc said on Feb. 8 it possessed language model technology but that it could not give a clear indication on when it would launch any related products.

Kuaishou Technology

Short video app Kuaishou Technology is conducting research on large language models, which it will use to improve its products such as AI customer service, the government-backed the Paper reported on Feb. 9.

Inspur Electronic Information Industry

Inspur Electronic Information Industry said on its investors relation website that it has long invested in AI-Generated Content (AIGC) from arithmetic, algorithms to the application of the technology.

Kunlun Tech

Beijing based-mobile games firm Kunlun Tech said it planned to launch a Chinese version of ChatGPT this year whose code will be open source, the company said on its WeChat account on Thursday.

The company said in a separate statement that on Wednesday it will embed ChatGPT into its Norway-based web browser Opera.

(Reporting by Albee Zhang and Brenda Goh, additional reporting by David Kirton and Laura Lin; Editing by Sam Holmes and Michael Perry)

Also read: Explained: Why AI chatbots are failing

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