US to Restrict OpenAI Access in China, Prompting Chinese AI Companies to Aggressively Pursue its Users

By Thea Felicity

Jun 25, 2024 06:28 PM EDT

A photo taken on November 23, 2023 shows the logo of the ChatGPT application developed by US artificial intelligence research organization OpenAI on a laptop screen (R) and the letters AI on a smartphone screen in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany. Sam Altman's shock return as chief executive of OpenAI late on November 22 -- days after being sacked -- caps a chaotic period that highlighted deep tensions at the heart of the Artificial Intelligence community. The board that fired Altman from his role as CEO of the ChatGPT creator has been almost entirely replaced following a rebellion by employees, cementing his position at the helm of the firm.
(Photo : KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) companies are actively pursuing users of OpenAI's technology following reports that the US-based firm plans to restrict access to its application programming interface (API) in China and other regions, Reuters reported.

READ MORE: Apple Plans to Integrate Chinese AI Technology Into iPhone 16 And More After CEO Tim Cook's Shanghai Visit

Chinese Companies Pursuing OpenAI Users

Baidu, a leading AI developer in China, has rolled out an "inclusive program" to attract new users by offering free migration to its Ernie platform. This initiative includes additional tokens for Baidu's flagship Ernie 3.5 model, tailored to match the scale of previous usage on OpenAI. 

Similarly, Alibaba Cloud has joined in by providing complimentary tokens and migration services through its AI platform, promoting its Qwen-plus model as a cost-effective alternative to OpenAI's offerings like GPT-4.

Meanwhile, Zhipu AI has announced a "Special Migration Program" targeting former OpenAI API users. 

In their statement to developers, Zhipu AI cited their GLM model's capabilities, which they claim compete directly with OpenAI's product ecosystem while emphasizing security and control as key features of their technology. 

With OpenAI's impending restrictions, these companies are positioning themselves to attract developers and businesses seeking reliable AI solutions. 

READ NEXT: China Struggles to Match AI Advancements in U.S. Due To OpenAI

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