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Chinese Regulators Give AI Firms a Helping Hand

While China was an early mover in regulating generative AI, it is also highly supportive of the technology and the companies developing it. Chinese AI firms might even have a competitive advantage over their American and European counterparts, which are facing strong regulatory headwinds and proliferating legal challenges.

HONG KONG – If a Chinese tech firm wants to venture into generative artificial intelligence it is bound to face significant hurdles arising from stringent government control, at least according to popular perceptions. China was, after all, among the first countries to introduce legislation regulating the technology. But a closer look at the so-called interim measures on AI indicates that far from hampering the industry, China’s government is actively seeking to bolster it.

This should not be surprising. Already a global leader in AI (trailing only the United States), China has big ambitions in the sector – and the means to ensure that its legal and regulatory landscape encourages and facilitates indigenous innovation.

The interim measures on generative AI reflect this strategic motivation. To be sure, a preliminary draft of the legislation released by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) included some encumbering provisions. For example, it would have required providers of AI services to ensure that the training data and the model outputs be “true and accurate,” and it gave firms just three months to recalibrate foundational models producing prohibited content.