On February 20, China Daily, a state-owned media outlet, stated on Weibo that the chatbot could potentially assist the US government in spreading disinformation and manipulating global narratives to further its own geopolitical agenda
This move is in line with China's heavy-handed approach to censorship and quick regulatory responses to new technology. The Chinese government has already introduced new rules regarding the production of "synthetic content" like deepfakes, and Chinese tech giants have had to censor other AI applications like image generators.
The article notes that although ChatGPT is not officially available in China, it has caused a stir among the country's web users and AI community. Some members of the AI community have expressed dismay that such technology was not developed first in China, citing the country's strict tech regulation and zealous censorship as barriers to the creation of these systems. However, the United States has been successful in creating new chatbots in part due to an abundance of training data scraped from the web and the rapid launch and iteration of new models.
The article also notes that since ChatGPT was launched on the web in November last year, Chinese tech giants including Tencent, Baidu, and Alibaba have announced that they are working on their own rival services. However, these companies will find it challenging to navigate the limitations imposed by regulators. Restricting the training data for chatbots will hobble their abilities in comparison to Western rivals, and even if their input is tightly controlled, users may still be able to solicit unwanted responses for which the companies will likely be held accountable.