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ByteDance Ensures Compliance with Service Terms in Use of OpenAI Technology

Updated: Jan 4

ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, has stated that its utilisation of OpenAI's technology aligns with the service terms set by the US firm.

Credit: ByteDance

This comes in response to allegations that ByteDance used OpenAI's technology to develop a competing service while attempting to conceal its actions.

ByteDance clarified that a small group of engineers used OpenAI's API service in an experimental model during their exploration of large language models (LLMs).

However, this work was discontinued in April and a protocol was implemented to ensure compliance with OpenAI's terms of use. ByteDance emphasised its commitment to following OpenAI's guidelines and stated that it is licensed to use OpenAI's API.

OpenAI, on the other hand, has suspended ByteDance's access to its service pending further investigation. While acknowledging that ByteDance's use of their API was minimal, OpenAI stated that if they find any violations of their policies, they will request necessary changes or terminate ByteDance's account. It is worth noting that OpenAI has not officially made its service available in mainland China.

This incident follows a similar accusation against AI specialist Lee Kai-fu's venture, 01.AI, which was accused of copying Meta Platforms' Llama's architecture in its Yi-34B LLM. The use of OpenAI's technology by ByteDance to develop its own model reflects the competitive landscape in the AI industry, with Chinese tech companies striving to catch up with OpenAI's advancements. However, the recent launch of OpenAI's GPT-4 Turbo model is expected to further solidify its lead against Chinese rivals.

China has witnessed a surge in the development of LLMs, with numerous tech firms and research institutes releasing at least 130 models as of July this year. This growth has prompted concerns about the excessive proliferation of foundational AI models, leading industry figures like Baidu's Robin Li to criticise it as a wasteful allocation of resources.


  • ByteDance asserts that its use of OpenAI's technology adheres to the service terms.

  • OpenAI has suspended ByteDance's access to its service while conducting an investigation.

  • Chinese tech companies are striving to compete with OpenAI in the AI industry.

Source: SCMP

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