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China's Pursuit of Generative AI: Development and Governance; by Akshaya S

Updated: Jul 8, 2023

Image Courtesy: Medium

Issue Brief: 08/2023

C3S launches its Issue Brief initiative. An issue brief is a summary of the knowledge surrounding an issue or a problem. It summarizes the issue by giving clear, concise, and complete information describing all facets of a particular issue including a detailed illustration in the form of images, data, and facts. It also includes recommendations for action and predictions on the future course of an issue.


Generative Artificial Intelligence is the latest technology most countries across the globe seek to develop and innovate. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is no different. Ever since the successful release of ChatGPT last year, Chinese tech companies have set their sights on releasing generative AI tools and services. Without losing momentum, the country also appears to be progressing steadily in another facet of the technology- its governance. On April 11, 2023, China’s cyberspace super-regulator Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) proposed a draft comprised of 21 articles on the regulation of generative AI services operating within its territory. While these initiatives are expected and appear to reflect the ubiquitous immediacy of multiple developed countries to enforce strict and specific regulations over the new technology, the content of the CAC’s draft has, however, raised several questions regarding China’s motives behind the same. The one-party State is known for its ability to rein in the Internet and emerging technologies through several layers of censorship and surveillance over the decades. Now, it appears to do the same with generative AI whose unpredictability, owing to large swathes of data, has the potential to provide subversive and “politically sensitive” content to its users when the technology is left unmoderated. Such artificially generated content might inadvertently stir anti-party sentiments and invoke progressive calls for democracy and freedom amongst Chinese citizens–threats that directly challenge the survival of the Chinese Communist Party and its unquestioned power over the country. Notwithstanding such existential threats, the Chinese Government also seems to harbour a steadfast commitment towards developing indigenous generative AI technologies. Such a commitment demonstrates China’s attempt to develop and create breakthroughs in generative AI ingenuously, and eventually attain global dominance in the realm of AI.

Read the full Issue Brief at this link:

China's Pursuit of generative AI by Akshaya S
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(Ms. Akshaya S is a research intern at C3S. She is pursuing Master of Arts in International Relations from Stella Maris College. The views expressed are those of the author and does not reflect the views of C3S.)

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