Beijing has formally approved a request on the part of Ant Group to release a series of AI-equipped products to the general public. The company made the announcement on Monday, November 13th.

The products in question are powered by fintech firm Ant Group’s Bailing Large Language Model (LLM) artificial intelligence (AI.) According to company executives, the products powered by this technology are meant to drive the development of the AI sector in the country, if not globally. 

Likewise, they hope that Bailing LLM will further expand Ant Group parent company Alibaba’s share of the nascent AI field, essentially making its mark as a leading innovator in such technologies.

Aside from the Bailing LLM products, government approval has also been secured to enable Ant Group to offer Tongyi Qianwen, its AI model, to the public. 

This recent approval is just the latest in Alibaba’s growing line of AI initiatives this year. The tech conglomerate has also launched two other open-source AI models, Qwen-VL and Qweb-VL-Chat. The latter is meant to respond to more complex inquiries on the part of users, delivering a more diverse range of answers. Qweb-VL-Char is also characterized by its ability to generate images just from a short text description.

Jumping Through Hoops

For those at Alibaba and Ant Group, securing government approval for their AI initiatives is seen as a significant milestone. 

In the name of national security, the Chinese government requires companies, especially tech development firms, to undergo a series of security assessments in order and get clearance from the relevant authorities prior to the public release of AI products or similarly sensitive technologies.

With Alibaba and Ant Group getting their approvals, it is expected that AI innovations from its competitors Baidu and Tencent – specifically, generative AI products similar to ChatGPT – could see a public release soon.