Alibaba opens AI model Tongyi Qianwen to public in competition with Baidu, Tencent and other Chinese Big Tech firms

In an article published on WeChat on Wednesday, Alibaba Group Intelligence Group said it aimed to “let every ordinary person and enterprise benefit from LLMs”, the technology that underpins cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Alibaba Cloud started a beta test of Tongyi Qianwen in April. It has since worked with other Alibaba units, such as e-commerce platform Taobao and work communications tool DingTalk, as well as outside companies like smartphone brand Oppo, to train their own LLMs or develop applications based on Tongyi Qianwen, Alibaba Cloud said.

Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.

The Chinese government in late August lifted its tight lid on the country’s aspirational ChatGPT rivals, giving the green light for several generative AI services to be released to the public in a crowded market where ChatGPT and Google’s Bard are not officially available. It came two weeks after authorities enacted national regulations on the technology.

The approved services include internet search giant Baidu’s Ernie Bot, as well as those from AI specialist SenseTime, Sogou founder Wang Xiaochuan’s new venture Baichuan and state-backed start-up Zhipu AI, among others.



Is China’s technology falling behind in the race for its own ChatGPT?

Is China’s technology falling behind in the race for its own ChatGPT?

“Over the next decade, the most significant change agent will be the disruptions brought about by AI across all sectors,” Wu wrote.

Alibaba Cloud, which is set to be spun off into an independent, publicly-listed company next year under its parent company’s sweeping restructuring plan, has seen significant personnel changes in recent months.


Wang Jian, who founded Alibaba Cloud and is seen as the man who laid the technological foundations for Alibaba’s emergence as an e-commerce giant, returned as a full-time staffer in May, according to people familiar with the matter.


South China Morning Post

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