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OpenAI stops API access in China starting July 9

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OpenAI stops API access in China starting July 9A red map of China overlaid with a large "BANNED" stamp.

In this post:

  • OpenAI will restrict Chinese developers from using its API from July 9 onwards. 
  • Chinese developers received official emails about the new change from OpenAI. The reason for the restriction is unclear. 
  • Chinese tech giants like Alibaba and Baidu advertise attractive offers to attract local users and encourage them to switch.

OpenAI will begin banning Chinese developers from using its API by July 9. Chinese local publisher Securities Times reported the ban based on screenshots of the memo from Chinese developers. The reason behind the ban is not clear yet.

Also Read: Detroit city adopts new rules for facial recognition technology after wrongful arrests

OpenAI is taking forceful action against unsupported countries, especially after the company discovered last month that bad actors used its AI models to spread misinformation and propaganda on the Internet.

Chinese developers will not access OpenAI’s API

In less than a week, OpenAI will begin restricting Chinese developers from accessing its API. The restriction will apply to other countries, including Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The artificial intelligence company has already blocked access to ChatGPT from unsupported countries.

Users from unsupported countries started receiving emails from OpenAI about the upcoming API restriction. Open AI wrote in an email,

“Our data shows that your organization has API traffic from a region that OpenAl does not currently support…We will be taking additional measures to block API traffic from regions that are not on our supported countries and territories list starting on July 9…”

The restriction will negatively impact Chinese developers since ChatGPT is considered a standard. Developers rely on APIs (application programmable interfaces) to integrate LLMs from OpenAI, Google, or Meta to automate tasks and enhance functionality. According to Reuters, Chinese developers have been using VPNs (virtual private networks) to access OpenAI’s APIs, but this will not work from July 9 onwards.

Also Read: Morgan Freeman calls out AI replication of his voice

The reasons for the restrictions are still unclear. However, some reports say that the US government is pressuring tech companies to stop China from using American technology. OpenAI is clearly following in the footsteps of Nvidia, which recently stopped selling advanced AI GPUs to China. The exit of American AI companies and chipmakers from the Chinese market will widen the divide between the US and China.  

Alibaba and Baidu begin to fill the AI gap in China

Upon releasing OpenAI’s memo to Chinese developers, around six local Chinese companies started offering incentives to developers to migrate from OpenAI. Alibaba and Tencent published advertisements to attract developers and encourage them to switch. Alibaba Cloud offered migration services, free tokens, and a lower price for its AI model Qwen-plus.

Also Read: Korea’s SK Group will invest $58 billion in AI chip manufacturing

Baichuan, backed by Alibaba and Tencent, is giving 10 million free tokens. Baidu is offering free migration, AI model fine-tuning, and guidance on its top AI model, Ernie. Additionally, new users will have 50 million free tokens to query AI chatbot Ernie.

SenseTime is giving 50 million tokens, and Zhipu is providing 150 million tokens along with training sessions. The biggest backer of OpenAI, Microsoft Corp, published a guide to Chinese developers, showing them how to migrate from OpenAI to its local service called 21Vianet.


Cryptopolitan reporting by Randa Moses

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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