ChatGPT is blocked in China. It had the same destiny as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and other Western social media platforms.

Wechat was the company that filled the gap in China in the absence of these Western apps. It even developed further in an APP that most Chinese people use for everyday tasks and communication. Such an APP does not exist yet in the West, and has even inspired Elon Musk's Twitter take-over and aspiration proclaimed in a BBC interview to potentially copy Wechat in an APP in the West.

This brings us to the question what will happen to China's generative AI programs now that ChatGPT is blocked. Which Chinese company or companies will make the generative AI app(s) that will be massively used by the Chinese people?

In any way, it will be a company that in the future needs to adhere to potential new regulations on generative AI, as the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has published draft Administrative Measures for Generative Artificial Intelligence Services (Measures) for public consultation. Stakeholders can give comments to the Measures until 10 May 2023.

As the Measures are in draft form at the moment, we will below give an overview of the content of the Measures.


The Measures have requirements on the providers of generative AI, which lists principles they have to adhere to:

  • Content needs to be consistent with the socialist order and socialist morals.
  • Should avoid discrimination;
  • Content must be true, accurate and not fraudulent;
  • Respect intellectual property and other law and regulations.
  • Security Assessment by CAC

Generative AI can only be offered to the public, if it is approved by CAC in the form of having passed CAC's security assessment in accordance with the Provisions on the Security Assessment of Internet Information Services with Characteristics of Opinions or Capable of Social Mobilization.

Furthermore, providers need to provide algorithm information in accordance with the Provisions on the Management of Algorithm recommendation of Internet Information Services.

Real-identity information

End-users will also need to provide real identity information. The providers will have to ask this. End-users may not become addicted to the services, as similar with Chinese gaming rules.

The providers will have to protect the data input of the end-users and may not share this information with third parties.

Research and development of AI

For research and development of generative AI, the providers must ensure that data used is legal and is handled in compliance with the Cybersecurity law, IP laws, has obtained the proper consent, be accurate, objective, sufficiently diverse and comply with further laws and regulations, especially by CAC.

Fines and criminal liability

Any forms of penalties for not being compliant, will be handled in accordance with the Personal Information Protection Law, Cybersecurity Law, Data Security Law or other applicable laws and regulations. Fines and criminal liability are part of the potential consequences of not being in compliance.

From the above Measures, it is thus clear that China intends to control the generative AI environment. Companies that in the future, once these measures are in force, will violate the above principles, will risk fines and criminal liability.

Companies are warned, if you want to be in the generative AI industry in China, you need to play by the Chinese rules.

We will keep you posted on the further developments regarding the draft Measures on generative AI.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.