In a move to bolster its position in the global AI race, China has reportedly authorized the use of more than 40 artificial intelligence models for public application within the last six months. According to Chinese media Securities Times, and as reported by Reuters, Chinese regulatory bodies approved 14 large language models (LLMs) last week, including those from major tech players like Xiaomi Corp, 4Paradigm, and 01.AI.
This batch of approvals is reportedly the fourth of its kind since Beijing introduced a new regulatory framework for AI models last August. The regulation mandates tech companies to seek official sanction before releasing their LLMs for public use, reflecting China’s desire to maintain oversight and control over the burgeoning AI sector.
The report noted that the first batch of approvals, granted shortly after the regulatory changes, included AI models from Baidu, Alibaba, and ByteDance. Following this, two more batches received the green light in November and December, and another set was approved this month. Although the exact list of all approved models has not been disclosed, the impact of these approvals is evident in the AI development landscape in China.
This rapid development and approval of AI models in China were partly spurred by the global success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in 2022. Since its debut, on one hand, ChatGPT has captivated users worldwide with its ability to generate content spontaneously. On the other hand, the AI chatbot landscape has become increasingly competitive with the entry of rivals like Google and Baidu.
The Reuters report noted that at the time, China accounted for 40% of the world’s LLMs, closely trailing the United States, which held a 50% share. Among the notable successes in China’s artificial intelligence field is Baidu’s Ernie Bot, a chatbot similar to ChatGPT, which has attracted over 100 million users as per the company’s CTO.
In an intensifying AI race, the latest advancements underscore China’s commitment to establishing itself as a leader in AI technology. The approval of these AI models not only demonstrates China’s regulatory strategy towards AI but also its potential to shape the global AI landscape.