The global buzz around Microsoft-backed OpenAI's ChatGPT has spread to China, shoring up stocks in artificial intelligence (AI) related firms and prompting a flurry of local companies to announce rival projects.

Like Microsoft and Google, Chinese tech giants such as Baidu and Alibaba as well as smaller start-ups have been working on AI projects for years.

Chatbots in China mostly focus on social interactions whereas ChatGPT, which learns from vast amounts of data how to answer prompts by users in a human-like manner, performs better at more professional tasks, such as programming and essay writing.

Here is a list of Chinese tech companies that have recently made announcements on AI technology:


China’s SenseTime unveiled on Monday a slew of new artificial intelligence-powered products including a chatbot and image generator, joining a global race ignited by the popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Xu Li, CEO and co-founder of one of China’s largest AI firms, showed a live demonstration of the chatbot they called “SenseChat” writing an email and telling a story about a cat catching a fish when prompted by questions, as well as scripting computer codes.

The products were based off the latest version of the company’s SenseNova big model, which they have been developing over the past five years, SenseTime’s other co-founder Wang Xiaogang said. Big models are typically trained on massive datasets using powerful hardware.

Global interest in AI technology has soared since the debut in late 2022 of ChatGPT, a popular chat bot developed by U.S. company OpenAI which uses generative AI technology that learns from past data to create new text, images or computer code. Some governments are weighing the merits of AI, including risks such as privacy and copyright infringement.

“We have been focusing on developing our big models. In addition to our powerful AI infrastructure ... SenseTime has also developed the ability to deploy big models across our product line,” said SenseTime’s co-founder Wang Xiaogang, adding that SenseChat contained more than 100 billion parameters.

The company, which has been sanctioned by the U.S., did not provide detailed plans for a product roll out, but said attendees could try out the products.

In addition to SenseChat, the company also showcased an image generator, a digital avatar creation platform and a pair of complementary 3D modeling tools at the event.

These applications are meant to work in tandem to help SenseTime’s clients to quickly create video in which the presenter, the environment and the products are all generated by AI in real time.

“We can generate a digital scene for a livestreaming room. The product creation and interactive content are all generated by AI, and the livestreaming room runs non-stop 24 hours a day,” Xu said. “In fact, you may not even be able to tell whether it is a real person doing the broadcasting at night.”

Shares in SenseTime, which is best known for its computer vision technology, soared last week after the company began sending out invitations for the event. The Hong Kong market, where the company trades, was shut for a public holiday on Monday.

A number of Chinese companies have been working on their own versions, including Chinese search engine giant Baidu which saw its shares plunge and then rebound after it unveiled its Ernie Bot last month. Ernie Bot is now open to a limited number of public testers.

In 2019, the United States put SenseTime on a trade blacklist after accusing it of developing facial recognition programmes that facilitate Beijing’s surveillance of ethnic Uyghurs in its Xinjiang region. SenseTime said at the time that it strongly opposed the U.S. ban and would work with relevant authorities to resolve the situation.

Chinese tech companies are rushing to launch their answers to OpenAI’s ChatGPT with Alibaba Group expected to launch its Tongyi Qianwen AI chatbot on Tuesday.


Baidu Inc on March 16 unveiled its much-anticipated AI-powered chatbot known as Ernie Bot. It is currently available to a limited number of users who apply for access codes.

Tests conducted by Reuters show that the chatbot has a good command of the Chinese language but avoids answering some political questions

Baidu plans to use Ernie Bot to revolutionise its search engine, by far the most dominant in China, as well as use it to increase efficiency in cloud, smart cars and household appliances, among other mainstream businesses.

During an event on March 27 for companies that are testing an industry-focused version of the chatbot, Baidu shared pre-recorded videos of Ernie summarising financial statements and producing powerpoint presentations.


Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on Tuesday unveiled Tongyi Qianwen, an AI large language model similar to GPT that it plans to integrate into all of the company’s business applications in the near future.

It will first be integrated into DingTalk, Alibaba’s workplace messaging app and can be used to summarise meeting notes, write emails and draft business proposals. It will also be added to Tmall Genie, Alibaba’s voice assistant.

“We are at a technological watershed moment driven by generative AI and cloud computing, and businesses across all sectors have started to embrace intelligence transformation to stay ahead of the game,” CEO Daniel Zhang said in a statement.

Shares in Alibaba rose 3 per cent in morning trade. Alibaba Cloud plans to open Tongyi Qianwen to its clients so they can build their own customized large language models. Global interest in generative AI, which learns how to take actions from past data to create new content, has surged since the release of chatbot sensation ChatGPT by Microsoft-backed OpenAI late last year.

Tongyi Qianwen is based on Tongyi, Alibaba’s proprietary pre-trained model framework that unifies various AI models.


Tencent Holdings has set up a development team to work on a ChatGPT-like chatbot to be called "HunyuanAide", two people familiar with the matter told Reuters in February. Asked for comment, Tencent reiterated a Feb.9 statement that it is conducting research on ChatGPT-tool technology.

Fudan University Team

A team from China's Fudan University launched a ChatGPT-like chatbot they called MOSS on Feb. 20. The platform, however, crashed hours after its launch due a surge in traffic and the team apologised, saying it was a very immature model that had a long way to go before reaching the level of ChatGPT.

E-commerce company JD.Com said on Feb. 10 it plans to launch a product similar to ChatGPT that it said would be called ChatJD and will be aimed at serving other businesses.

China telecom

China Telecom Corp is developing an industrial version of ChatGPT for telecommunications, which will use AI in some customer service functions, local Chinese media reported on Feb. 18.


Gaming firm NetEase plans to deploy large language models technology to serve its education business, a source familiar with the company told Reuters on Feb. 8.

360 Security Technology Inc

360 Security Technology Inc said on Feb. 8 it possessed language model technology but that it could not give a clear indication on when it would launch any related products.

Kuaishou Technology

Short video app Kuaishou Technology is conducting research on large language models, which it will use to improve its products such as AI customer service, the government-backed the Paper reported on Feb. 9.

Inspur Electronic Information Industry

Inspur Electronic Information Industry said on its investors relation website that it has long invested in AI-Generated Content (AIGC) from arithmetic, algorithms to the application of the technology.

Kunlun Tech

Beijing based-mobile games firm Kunlun Tech said it planned to launch a Chinese version of ChatGPT this year whose code will be open source, the company said on its WeChat account on Thursday.

The company said in a separate statement that on Wednesday it will embed ChatGPT into its Norway-based web browser Opera.