OpenAI models still available in China via Azure cloud despite company ban – Computerworld

Meanwhile, at the World AI Conference in Shanghai last week, another Chinese AI company, SenseTime, unveiled its latest model — SenseNova 5.5; like Baidu, it offered companies 50 million free tokens to use the model, according to a separate report by The Guardian. SenseNova also promised to deploy staff for free to help new clients migrate from OpenAI to SenseTime’s AI tools.

Getting around trade restrictions

Microsoft invested billions of dollars in OpenAI in January 2023 and is closely aligned with the ChatGPT maker, integrating its technology through its own AI chatbot called Copilot, which is hosted on Azure and an integral part of its own products and services.

Microsoft did not provide a motive for allowing access to OpenAI in China through Azure. Shimmin, however, noted that China is a “sizeable market opportunity” for “mega-brands” like Microsoft, Google, Meta and Apple, “one worth the additional cost of establishing sometimes complex operating policies in order to do business in-country.”


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