China has approved over 40 AI models for public use in the first six months since it imposed an approval process for AI development within the country.
The Chinese government imposed rules in 2023 that tech companies must obtain approval from regulators to release their large language models (LLM) to the public.
Regulators approved 14 LLMs to the public last week, marking its fourth batch of approvals in the last six months, according to Chinese state-backed Securities Times.
Since the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in 2022, Chinese companies have been racing to develop their own AI products.
China wants its own ChatGPT
Since the US Commerce Department issued rules in 2022 which clamped down on the export of certain advanced chips (including those with military or AI applications) to Chinese companies, China has had an uphill battle to stay ahead of the curve with AI development.
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However, despite the restrictions, China has seen some breakthroughs which could point to the country succeeding with domestic advancements.
Baidu claimed its ChatGPT rival had outperformed OpenAI’s AI chatbot in a series of test in June.
Ernie 3.5, the latest iteration of the Ernie AI model, exceeded “ChatGPT in comprehensive ability scores”, according to the company.
Baidu pointed to a test run by the China Science Daily newspaper, which ran tests using AGIEval and C-Eval – benchmarks usually used to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of AI models.
Baidu was the first Big tech company in China to release a ChatGPT rival, but companies like Alibaba and Tencent followed shortly after with their own AI models.
Beijing-based Baidu provides a full AI stack, which consists of AI chips, deep learning framework and core AI capabilities, according to research firm GlobalData.
Josep Bori, GlobalData thematic research director said in a podcast in 2023 that the company anticipates “China will lose its current AI market leadership unless it can secure access to advanced manufacturing technology.”
China’s AI remains far behind the US
The US continues to steam ahead in the value of its AI deals, according to GlobalData’s deal database.
In 2023, the value of US AI deals totalled $50bn, growing considerably from 2022 which saw deals total $33bn.
The value of AI deals in China totalled just $7.9bn in 2023, remaining practically unchanged from 2022 which saw deals total $7.4bn.
GlobalData forecasts that the overall AI market will be worth $909bn by 2030, having grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 35% between 2022 and 2030.
In the generative AI space, revenues are expected to grow from $1.8bn in 2022 to $33bn in 2027 at a CAGR of 80%.