China’s AI-based Chatbots are yet to reach the public

More than two months since the ChatGPT sensation hit China, similar artificial intelligence-based chatbots are yet to reach China’s population at large.

Instead, the most well-known options released by Baidu, Alibaba, and other companies have limited/restricted access with waitlists to business partners.

ChatGPT reached around 100 million monthly active users just two months after its launch event in November.

But OpenAI-powered ChatGPT isn’t available in China, where access to Facebook, Twitter, and Google is also not allowed by the government’s internet firewall.

Domestic companies in China rushed to launch and test alternative AI-based products.

According to publicly available figures, so far, AI products in China are not widely available.

Alibaba Cloud announced on April 11 the company’s version of ChatGPT-style tech, “Tongyi Qianwen”.

Kunlun Tech launched the “Tiangong” on April 17.

It is not clear how many people in China have access to Baidu’s “Ernie bot” which was launched on March 16.

Regulatory uncertainties in China remain in a comment period for its generative AI draft rules. Authorities have not declared when a final version of the rules would come into effect.

HSBC analysts said in an April 20 report said, “More than 30 companies and institutes in China are training AI models, indicating a robust demand for AI servers and increased spending on networking infrastructure.”