Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) startup 01.AI is looking to raise $200m (1.4bn Yuan) in new investment, reports Reuters citing sources.

The AI company, which was founded by Lee Kai-fu earlier this year, aims to raise more funding from US dollar-based investors.

Along with larger companies such as Meta and Alibaba, 01.AI is one of several Chinese businesses that have opened, or plan to publish, their large language models (LLM) for public usage.

LLM are trained on vast quantities of data to generate text and content in response to prompts.

It powers technologies such as the popular chatbot ChatGPT, which was launched by OpenAI over a year ago.

Last month, 01.AI achieved a valuation of over $1bn in less than eight months following a funding round joined by Alibaba Cloud.

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Requests for comments on the latest funding efforts were not answered by the company.

The AI startup has also launched its open-source LLM, called Yi-34B, which is claimed to perform better in terms of reading comprehension, coding skills, and common-sense reasoning than Meta’s Llama2 model.

In early November 2023, Yi-34B was placed at the top of the list for pre-trained base LLMs by Hugging Face, which keeps leaderboards for the best-performing LLMs in several categories.

01.AI’s efforts to raise fresh funding comes amid the ongoing tensions between the US and China over technology.

The company has stockpiled NVIDIA chips in case the US imposes additional restrictions on exporting technology to China.

In a TV interview with Bloomberg in November 2023, Lee stated that 01.AI purchased enough AI chips to last about 18 months, but he was dubious about China’s ability to produce the technology domestically.

According to research company GlobalData’s predictions, limited access to high-end chips will prevent Chinese AI companies from competing with their US counterparts in 2024.