Alibaba to Launch Tongyi Qianwen Chatbot Rival to ChatGPT Across E-Commerce Business

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Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, has announced the launch of its own artificial intelligence (AI) model, Tongyi Qianwen, which will be integrated across its messaging app DingTalk and smart speaker Tmall Genie. The AI model is designed to compete with ChatGPT, which is backed by Microsoft and OpenAI. The name Tongyi Qianwen translates to “seeking truth from a thousand questions” and is capable of answering questions in both English and Chinese. The move comes as other Chinese tech companies such as Baidu and SenseTime have also recently announced the launch of their own chatbots.

Alibaba’s CEO, Daniel Zhang, said that the company is at a “technological watershed moment driven by generative AI and cloud computing,” and that cloud computing has been a “core strategy” for the company for 14 years. Despite this, the company’s cloud intelligence group is yet to become profitable, with annual revenue growth slowing to 3% in the fourth quarter, according to its latest results.

The launch of Tongyi Qianwen is part of Alibaba’s efforts to keep pace with other Chinese tech companies and compete with ChatGPT. The Chinese government has also taken an interest in the race for AI dominance, with the Cyberspace Administration of China revealing draft measures for managing generative AI. The development of Tongyi Qianwen and other chatbots is seen as an indication of China’s determination to become a world leader in AI, with the potential to surpass the US in the technology race.

Alibaba’s stock rose by nearly 2% in Hong Kong trading on the day of the announcement, indicating that investors are excited about the potential of Tongyi Qianwen. However, the success of the AI model remains to be seen, and it is unclear whether it will be able to compete with ChatGPT and other established models. Nonetheless, the launch of Tongyi Qianwen is another example of China’s ambition to be at the forefront of AI technology and highlights the increasing importance of AI in the tech industry.

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