ChatGPT’s Access Restricted in China Over Government Concerns of Online Content4 min read
Artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT has been blocked in China due to fears that its American owners will use the tool to spread propaganda. This chatbot comes from OpenAI, a company founded by Elon Musk, Sam Altman, and others in 2015. It has only been publicly available since November. Artificial intelligence is capable of producing high-quality essays with little to no human intervention. Additionally, it generates text based on a prompt or query. The chatbot, which is designed to help users find friends on social media, has been ordered not to be made available to the general public by major Chinese tech companies. Daily Mail reports that ChatGPT is banned because it generates replies that the Chinese Communist Party would otherwise censor. In the Asian country, ChatGPT joins Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, YouTube, Wikipedia, and some Google services that are also blocked.
1. ChatGPT has reportedly been blocked on Chinese social media.— BFM News (@NewsBFM) February 23, 2023
This comes after state-controlled paper China Daily released a video describing the chatbot's answers regarding Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang as “perfectly typed answers in line with the US government talking points.” pic.twitter.com/8HtzKSli2K
Virtual private networks and mini-programs released by third-party developers are, however, reportedly being used by ChatGPT users. The Chinese government controls the online environment, news, and social media platforms, making it one of the most restrictive countries in the world regarding the Internet and media. Chinese executives from a leading tech company said, Our understanding is that ChatGPT won’t be able to enter China due to censorship issues, so China will have to provide its own version of ChatGPT. In January, The PUNCH reported that the AI tool had raised concerns about its impact on education due to its ability to produce high-quality essays without human intervention. Numerous colleges across the globe considered the specific feature as a permit for studies to cheat.
China officially bans ChatGPT, and private VPNs connected to that and similar products from overseas providers. pic.twitter.com/h3YJj8eQ2H— Ben (@benjaminqiu) February 21, 2023
Artificial Intelligence Chatbot ChatGPT Has Been Blocked In China Over The Fear That The American Users Will Use The Tool To Spread Propaganda
Over fears that OpenAI would use AI to spread propaganda, China blocked ChatGPT. Major tech companies, especially those in the social media app business, have been told not to offer the chatbot to the public. According to Nikki Asia, ChatGPT is banned because it creates replies that would otherwise be censored. Users have discovered a workaround using VPNs and ‘mini programs’ released by third-party developers on Tencent’s WeChat social media app that claim to offer ChatGPT services. It is feared that ChatGPT will generate replies that would normally be censored in China, so the country has blocked it from its large tech industry. According to reports, Chinese regulators have required tech giants Tencent and Ant Group (an affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba) to restrict ChatGPT access and report back to them before releasing their own chatbots. Due to its tight control over the news, online environment, and social media platforms, China is one of the most restricted countries in the world regarding the internet and media. In addition, ChatGPT has been blocked nationwide like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, YouTube, Wikipedia, and some Google services. According to US officials, TikTok should also be banned due to similar concerns they have about ChatGPT.
On Weibo, China Daily reported that ChatGPT could be used by the US government to spread disinformation and manipulate global narratives for geopolitical purposes. Although people around the world may be surprised by the move, China’s tech industry anticipated it. The Nikkei reported that a senior executive at a leading technology company understood from the start that ChatGPT would never enter China due to censorship issues. Even before the ban, a senior executive at another major Chinese technology company revealed the company did not plan to use ChatGPT. Chinese regulators have already targeted us [amid a crackdown on the tech industry in recent years], so even if there is no such ban, we will not add ChatGPT to our platform because its reactions are out of control. The Tencent social media app WeChat now offers users dozens of mini-programs that claim to offer services from ChatGPT, thanks to a VPN and third-party developers. The platform will be held accountable for any results that result from users asking the chatbot politically sensitive questions. CNBC reported earlier this month that Chinese companies, including Alibaba and NetEase, would launch copycats of ChatGPT. As part of its cloud computing products, Alibaba announced that it is developing an AI-powered chatbot.