Alibaba is known around the world for its marketplace filled with knock-off goods, low-cost cloud servers, and wide range of products and services that echo offerings by larger American firms. Now, the Chinese technology giant is attempting to break into the AI chatbot space with its own rival to ChatGPT, Tongyi Qianwen.
China’s Alibaba has a long history of attempting to duplicate successful ventures by large American technology giants. From copying Amazon’s very logo and marketplace strategy to providing cloud service solutions in an echo of Amazon, Microsoft, and Google’s offerings, Alibaba has shown time and time again that it will do anything it can to compete with its American rivals.
Tongyi Qianwen comes hot on the heels of another Chinese tech giant’s announcement around AI chats: Baidu’s Ernie Bot. Baidu launched with mixed response after a series of brief pre-recorded video presentations in a scripted event was followed by a drop in share prices.
Alibaba announced Tongyi Quanwen through its WeChat page, inviting businesses to try out the AI chatbot rather than showcasing it in a pre-recorded demonstration.
The announcement included a simple quote from the chatbot, "Hello, my name is Tongyi Qianwen, this is our first time meeting, I welcome your feedback.”