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Apple’s AI Push Faces Challenges in China

Apple’s large-scale artificial intelligence push project is facing serious challenges in China, as the authorities of this Asian country adhere to very strict rules regarding the development and distribution of AI.

Apple’s AI Push Faces Challenges in China

It is worth noting that for the technology giant based in Cupertino, California, the Chinese market is one of the main ones, which is why any problems in the context of activities in this commercial space are a very sensitive factor for the company. Recently, Apple has been facing not the most favorable circumstances of doing business in an Asian country, among which the most important is increased competition from local smartphone manufacturers, that are also interested in participating in the so-called artificial intelligence race.

Apple Intelligence is a kind of large-scale project of the Cupertino-based technology giant in the area of machine intelligence. This project provides for the implementation of artificial intelligence functions on the company’s devices. Among the mentioned features, for example, an improved version of the Siri voice assistant and transcribing of audio footage.

Apple has not announced the launch of its project in the area of artificial intelligence, which debuted in June, in China, but it is widely believed in the expert community that the lack of an appropriate solution is due to the strict regulatory system of the technology sector in the Asian country, and not due the fact that the brand simply does not see the expediency in expanding the use of new developments. In addition, increasing the range of offers on the Chinese market is obviously beneficial for the company from the point of view of commercial prospects.

The artificial intelligence industry in the Asian country operates within strictly defined legal limits. In China, developers of large language models must obtain approval from the authorities to use their products commercially. Also, companies operating in the area of machine intelligence are responsible for taking down illegal content.

Bryan Ma, vice president of devices research at IDC, said during a conversation with media representatives that China is in another world in terms of a legal approach to the area of digital intelligence.

It would be extremely difficult for Apple to push its artificial intelligence-based products in the context of the Chinese regulatory system for the relevant segment of the technology sector. Some Apple Intelligence features are based on the company’s own large language model, which runs both on the brand’s smartphones and on its servers. According to the rules in force in China, the technology giant must obtain the approval of the authorities to use its artificial intelligence configuration.

Moreover, in the context of the prospects for launching a new Apple project, the problem is that ChatGPT from OpenAI has been integrated into its machine intelligence ecosystem. In China, the mentioned chatbot is banned. This means that Apple in an Asian country would have to form partnerships with local artificial intelligence developers. Currently, in China, Baidu and Alibaba have their own large language models and AI-based voice assistants.

Canalys analyst Nicole Peng, during a conversation with media representatives, said that, most likely, Apple will need to build on-device artificial intelligence configuration and its cloud counterpart to comply with the norms of the Chinese regulatory system.

Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight, suggested in a comment to journalists that the technology giant in the Asian country needs to create the local AI experience on its devices.

An Apple spokesperson, in response to a media query about the company’s plans to launch artificial intelligence-based products and functions in China, said that the process was under way but he did not concretize this formulation.

As we have reported earlier, Apple to Open First Store in Malaysia.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.