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Chinese Big Tech Giants Ant Group And JD.com Race To Develop Language Models Amid AI Frenzy

Updated: Jan 5

Ant Group and JD.com join the race to develop large language models (LLMs) as Chinese tech companies capitalise on the growing interest in generative artificial intelligence (AI).

Ant Group
Credits: Bloomberg

Financial technology leader Ant Group has confirmed its development of an in-house LLM project called "Zhen Yi," reported by Chinese media. Similarly, e-commerce conglomerate JD.com plans to unveil its LLM, potentially named "ChatJD," during its annual cloud summit on July 13. JD's vice president, He Xiaodong, has highlighted its focus on business applications.


Ant and JD's foray into LLMs follows the footsteps of other Chinese companies embracing the technology wave ignited by US start-up OpenAI's ChatGPT. Baidu introduced its Ernie Bot, while Alibaba's cloud computing unit integrated the Tongyi Qianwen chatbot into various products, including the work collaboration app DingTalk. ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, is testing an LLM-powered chatbot on its enterprise platform, Feishu.


Chinese firms such as SenseTime and iFlytek have also joined the LLM bandwagon. The Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China's report revealed that China boasts at least 79 large AI models with over 1 billion parameters, mainly focused on language and visual recognition.


Ant Group, still a privately held company after its suspended IPO in 2020, invested 20.46 billion yuan (US$2.89 billion) in research and development in 2022, primarily in AI-related innovations. JD.com, listed on Nasdaq and Hong Kong Stock Exchange, allocated 16.9 billion yuan for R&D in 2022, marking a slight increase from the previous year.

 
  • Ant Group and JD.com are developing large language models (LLMs) amid the surge of interest in generative AI.

  • Ant is working on the "Zhen Yi" project, while JD.com plans to unveil its LLM, potentially named "ChatJD."

  • Chinese companies like Baidu, Alibaba, and ByteDance have already entered the LLM space.

  • China has over 79 LLMs with a focus on language and visual recognition.

  • Ant Group invested 20.46 billion yuan in R&D, while JD.com allocated 16.9 billion yuan for the same purpose.

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