China approved more than 40 AI models for public use in the first six months since authorities began the approval process. The country is racing to catch up with the United States

China has approved more than 40 artificial intelligence (AI) models for public use in the first six months since authorities began the approval process, as the country struggles to catch up, according to Chinese media reports, the United States in the development of AI.

Chinese regulators have approved a total of 14 core language models (LLMs) for public use, the Chinese state-backed Securities Times reported. This is the fourth batch of approvals granted by China, which counts Xiaomi Corp, 4Paradigm and 01.AI among the beneficiaries.

Last August, Beijing began requiring technology companies to obtain permission from regulators to open their LLMs to the public. The move highlights China’s approach to developing AI technology while striving to keep it under its responsibility and control.

Beijing approved its first batch of AI models in August, shortly after adopting the approval procedure. Baidu, Alibaba and ByteDance were among the first Chinese companies to receive approvals. Chinese regulators then granted two more batches of approvals in November and December, before another batch was given the green light this month. Although the government has not released the exact list of approved companies, which can be viewed by the public, the Securities Times reported that more than 40 AI models have been approved.

Chinese companies have been rushing to develop AI products since OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot took the world by storm in 2022. At the time, China had 130 LLMs, or 40% of the global total, just behind the United States, which held 50% of the market, according to broker CLSA.

One of China’s top ChatGPT-style chatbots, Baidu’s Ernie Bot, has gained more than 100 million users, according to the company’s CTO in December.

Source: Securities Times, state-backed Chinese newspaper

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Baidu’s ChatBot Ernie, a competitor to ChatGPT, has gained more than 100 million users, said Wang Haifeng, the Chinese internet company’s chief technology officer.

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