China Tech Giant Alibaba Planning ChatGPT Rival

    China Tech Giant Alibaba Planning ChatGPT Rival
    Last updated Apr 11, 2023
    Image credit: Al Jazeera


    • Chinese technology firm Alibaba on Tuesday announced plans to release its own ChatGPT-style Artificial Intelligence (AI) named Tongyi Qianwen. Alibaba becomes the latest company to reveal its own generative AI chatbot in recent months.
    • The chatbot’s name broadly translates to "truth from a thousand questions.” Its language model will be integrated into DingTalk, Alibaba's workplace messaging app, as well as Tmall Genie, Alibaba's voice assistant.
    • Tongyi Qianwen will possess both Chinese and English language capabilities, and the product will be integrated and released in "the near future.” A timeline was not provided.
    • In a demonstration, Tongyi Qianwen drafted invitations, planned travel itineraries, and advised shoppers on makeup. CEO Daniel Zhang, speaking at a live-streamed event, said the technology would bring about "big changes" to the way people work and live.
    • This unveiling follows a similar release last month by Baidu, another Chinese tech giant. Following the growth of such language models in the state, the Chinese government has published draft rules surrounding how such services should be managed; the draft says AI tools should follow "core socialist values" and protect user data or risk criminal investigations and fines.
    • Following the news, Alibaba's stock rose nearly 2% in Hong Kong trading but slipped by 0.15% early the same day in New York.


    Pro-China narrative

    Companies like Alibaba, Baidu, and NetEase highlight how China is becoming a leader in developing AI technology. These language models will usher in speedy growth within the country, and become a driving force in the next technological and industrial revolution with China at the forefront.

    Anti-China narrative

    Although Wall Street is gripped with AI mania, everyone should be cautious about China’s venture into this realm. Investors have learned tough lessons from past PRC regulations on technology, and a state crackdown could easily be imminent. China is promising growth, but that doesn’t mean it will happen.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that at least 275 Chinese institutions of higher education will be approved to offer an artificial intelligence undergraduate program in 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



    More neutral establishment stance articles

    Sign up to our newsletter!