The race to establish dominance in AI investment has intensified within China’s internet sector. In March, search engine leader Baidu unveiled its own major AI language model, Ernie Bot, serving as a direct response to ChatGPT. This development ignited a competitive frenzy among companies such as Alibaba, Tencent Holdings Ltd., and SenseTime Group Inc., all eager to introduce their own rival platforms.
ByteDance Ltd. is testing an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot among employees, joining rival Chinese internet conglomerates from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to Baidu Inc. in a race to create a local version of ChatGPT.
The project, internally known as “Grace,” has recently come to light as ByteDance begins testing the chatbot among its employees.
On a global scale, TikTok, owned by ByteDance, is also actively exploring the realm of chatbots. One such experiment is the introduction of a chatbot named Tako, which currently functions as an instant messenger within TikTok’s main platform. Users can interact with Tako, posing questions and seeking information.
Although reports have surfaced suggesting that ByteDance is actively working on developing its own large language models, the company has refrained from confirming these speculations.
The regulatory landscape poses additional challenges for participants in this AI race. China’s top internet regulator has emphasized the necessity of conducting comprehensive security reviews for generative AI tools prior to implementation. Such measures are in place to ensure the safety and compliance of these advanced technologies with existing regulations. Simultaneously, Chinese tech firms have been grappling with the impact of US sanctions, which have limited their access to high-quality chips essential for effectively training AI models.