‘Political propaganda’: China clamps down on access to ChatGPT


Leading tech firms reportedly ordered to remove workarounds allowing access to US-based service

Chinese regulators have reportedly clamped down on access to ChatGPT, as Chinese tech firms and universities push forward with developing domestic artificial intelligence bots.

ChatGPT, the popular discussion bot created by US-based OpenAI, is not officially available in China, where the government operates a comprehensive firewall and strict internet censorship. But many had been accessing it via VPNs, and some third-party developers had produced programs that gave some access to the service.

Those programs have disappeared from WeChat accounts. Multiple reports have said that major tech firms including WeChat’s parent company, Tencent, and Ant Group, have been ordered to cut access to the programs. Earlier this week, state media had expounded on the dangers of ChatGPT as a potential tool for the US to “spread false information”. A China Daily article said that questions put to ChatGPT about Xinjiang always returned answers “consistent with the political propaganda of the US government that there is so-called ‘genocide’.”

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