China approves over 40 AI models for public use in past six months

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According to Chinese media, China has approved more than 40 artificial intelligence (AI) models for public use within the first six months since regulatory authorities began the approval process. This move is an attempt by China to catch up with the U.S. in AI development.


Last week, Chinese regulators approved a total of 14 large language models (LLM) for public use. Xiaomi Corp, 4Paradigm, and 01.AI were among the recipients of these approvals, marking the fourth batch of approvals granted by China.


In August, Beijing imposed a requirement that tech companies must obtain approval from regulators to open their LLMs to the public. This highlights China’s approach in developing AI technology while retaining control over it.

Soon after the approval process was adopted, Beijing approved its first batch of AI models. Baidu, Alibaba, and ByteDance were among the first companies to receive approvals. Since then, Chinese regulators have granted two more batches of approvals in November and December respectively, before approving another batch this month. While the government has not disclosed the exact list of approved companies, Securities Times reported that over 40 AI models have been approved for public use.


Chinese companies have been working diligently to develop AI products since OpenAI’s ChatGPT gained widespread popularity in 2022. At the time, China accounted for 40% of the global total of 130 LLMs, which was second only to the United States’ 50% share, according to brokerage CLSA.


Baidu’s Ernie Bot, one of China’s leading ChatGPT-like chatbots, had more than 100 million users, according to the company’s CTO in December.

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