China is never far behind global tech trends and is often even setting them. However, tech giants in the country are currently behind Microsoft and Google, at least in terms of mainstreaming AI solutions. Microsoft’s partnership with OpenAI has put the company at the forefront of AI, thanks to ChatGPT and the technology’s integration in Bing Chat.
It now seems Meituan co-founder Wang Huiwen wants China to have a share of the emerging AI market. With companies like Microsoft and Google mostly banned in the country, there is a huge potential market for a company that can lead AI development in the country.
Huiwen wrote on Monday that he wants to create a company that will essentially be China’s version of OpenAI. He says he will invest $50 million into the new company and take a 25% stake. The remaining 75% will be available for shareholders.
OpenAI is a non-profit organization focused on researching and developing AI. It is an AI development group that counts Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Y Combinator President Sam Altman as its cofounders. Microsoft has been partnering with the fund since 2016, collaborating on the GPT AI model and investing billions of dollars into the group more than once.
The partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI has become closer in recent months. Microsoft invested a rumored $10 billion and has become a heavy supporter of the popular ChatGPT chatbot. This includes last week’s announcement that ChatGPT technology is becoming a part of Bing.
Looking on from China, Huiwen sees the potential of AI and also sees the success and innovation OpenAI has delivered. He is now converting his Guangnian Zhiwai Tech Co. Ltd. It will become China’s version of Open AI. While Huiwen currently owns 100% of the firm, he is changing the structure to bring in outside investors.
Huiwen’s call for funding from investors comes at a time when tech companies in China are cautioning investors to lower expectations around AI. Major developers in the country say that they are some way off being able to make profit from their AI solutions. Despite this, Chinese tech giant Baidu is expected to launch a ChatGPT-style search bot next month.
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