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Alibaba to roll out its rival to ChatGPT across all its products


Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing subsidiary of Alibaba, unveiled its ChatGPT-style product Tongyi Qianwen during the 2023 Alibaba Cloud Summit on Tuesday morning.

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Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing unit of Chinese tech giant Alibaba, announced Tuesday it will be rolling out its own ChatGPT-style product Tongyi Qianwen.

Tongyi Qianwen, which possess Chinese and English language capabilities, will initially be deployed on DingTalk, Alibaba’s workplace communication software, and Tmall Genie, a provider of smart home appliances, the company said in a release.

Hong Kong-listed shares of Alibaba gained traded more than 3% higher after the announcement but has since pared some gains. Shares of Baidu in Hong Kong were down 6%.

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Alibaba set to release its rival to ChatGPT

At the 2023 Alibaba Cloud Summit, the company said it will be rolling out the artificial intelligence-powered chatbot into all Alibaba products from enterprise communication to e-commerce in “the near future.” It did not reveal a timeline.

“We are at a technological watershed moment driven by generative AI and cloud computing, and businesses across all sectors have started to embrace intelligence transformation to stay ahead of the game,” said Daniel Zhang, chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group and CEO of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, in a statement.

Alibaba first told CNBC it was working on a ChatGPT rival in February.

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“The new AI model will be integrated across Alibaba’s various businesses to improve user experience in the near future. The company’s customers and developers will have access to the model to create customised AI features in a cost-effective way,” the company said.

Alibaba Cloud will offer its clients access to Tongyi Qianwen on the cloud and help them build customized large language models.

The chatbot will be ”fine-tuned” with proprietary information and data from clients, reducing resources and costs for these companies. Alibaba Cloud’s enterprise customers in China will be able to access Tongyi Qianwen for beta testing.

“We hope to facilitate businesses from all industries with their intelligence transformation and, ultimately, help boost their business productivity, expand their expertise and capabilities while unlocking more exciting opportunities through innovations,” said Jingren Zhou, CTO of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, in the release.

Developers in China can also apply for beta testing of Tongyi Qianwen to create their AI applications at scale, the company said.

China's tech giants announce their plans for ChatGPT rivals

Users can expect “more compelling” AI features such as image understanding and text-to-image to be added to the Tongyi Qianwen model soon.

Alibaba is the latest Chinese player after Baidu to reveal ChatGPT alternatives. Baidu revealed its own ChatGPT version, Ernie Bot, in March.

Chinese technology giants from Alibaba to Baidu to NetEase have announced their intentions to launch ChatGPT-style products.

Alibaba has maintained its position as the third leading public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provider globally since 2018, according to International Data Corporation.

The tech company also holds the positions of world’s third leading and Asia Pacific’s leading IaaS provider by revenue in U.S. dollars since 2018, according to technology research firm Gartner.

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