Chinese regulators have instructed major tech companies, including Tencent, to restrict access to third-party programs that allow users to access OpenAI’s chatbot, ChatGPT, according to Nikkei Asia.
The chatbot is not officially available in China, but some individuals have found ways to access it using VPNs, social media apps or other programs. Chinese authorities employ their “Great Firewall” to block access to foreign websites and applications, including Google Search’s full version. According to anonymous sources, companies in China seeking to develop their AI chatbots must report to regulators before launching.
Fears About Uncensored Responses
The clampdown follows concerns in China about ChatGPT’s uncensored responses to users’ questions, particularly regarding Xinjiang, where there are reports of human rights violations against the region’s Uyghur Muslims.
State-controlled media outlet China Daily recently released a video called “How the US uses AI to spread disinformation”, which cited ChatGPT’s responses about Xinjiang as “a perfectly typed answer in line with US government talking points.” China has repeatedly denied allegations of human rights abuses against the Uyghur community.
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