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China, the first country to regulate Generative AI

Milagros Tallarico, Semi Sr. Associate at Alfaro Abogados

Generative AI (Gen AI) is a rapidly growing field worldwide, and China is no exception. This country has shown great interest in the development of artificial intelligence and has invested significantly in this area.

In this context, a significant step has been taken to become the first country to regulate Generative AI. China's Cyberspace Administration, the main internet oversight body in the country, has released a set of updated guidelines that came into effect on August 15th, aimed at controlling the use and development of this technology within its territory, causing a sensation worldwide.

Key Aspects of the "Measures for the Management of Generative Artificial Intelligence Services":

The regulations establish principles, obligations, and responsibilities for providers and users of Generative AI services similar to ChatGPT, which use models and algorithms to create content such as texts, images, or videos. Among its key aspects are:

Technological Development

Innovative application of Gen AI technology across various industries and fields should be promoted. Positive, healthy, and high-quality content should be generated, application scenarios explored and optimized, and an application ecosystem built.

Data Labeling

When data labeling is carried out during Gen AI technology research and development, providers must formulate clear, specific, and actionable labeling rules that meet the requirements of these measures. Additionally, data labeling quality assessment should be conducted; accuracy of labeled content must be verified; necessary training for labeling personnel should be provided, guiding them to carry out labeling work in a standardized manner.

Prevention of Harm

Legitimate rights and interests of others must be respected. Others' physical and mental health should not be endangered, nor should image rights, reputation rights, honor rights, privacy rights, and personal information rights of others be infringed upon.


In the process of algorithm design, training data selection, model generation and optimization, and service provision, effective measures must be taken to prevent discrimination based on ethnicity, belief, country, region, gender, age, occupation, health, etc.


If users find that Gen AI services do not comply with laws, administrative regulations, and the provisions of these measures, they have the right to complain and report to the relevant competent authorities.

As a result, detailed guidelines are set for users and consumers, where the provider must:

  • Establish a mechanism to handle user complaints regarding personal privacy or trade secrets.

  • Provide information that may impact user trust and choice, including descriptions like the source, scale, type, and quality of pre-training and optimized training data, manual labeling rules, scale and type of manually labeled data, basic algorithms and technical systems, etc.

  • Guide users to scientifically understand and rationally use content generated by generative artificial intelligence, not to use generated content to harm others' image, reputation, and other legitimate rights and interests, and not to engage in commercial exaggerations or inappropriate commercialization.

Business Ethics

Respect for intellectual property rights, business ethics, trade secrets must be observed, and algorithms, data, platforms, and other advantages must not be used to implement monopolies and unfair competition.


Based on the service type's characteristics, effective measures must be taken to enhance the transparency of Gen AI services, improving the accuracy and reliability of generated content.


These regulations outline the obligations of providers, including:

  • Assuming legal responsibility as content information producers on the network and fulfilling network information security obligations. If personal data is involved, the responsibilities of personal data processors will be assumed in accordance with the law, fulfilling the obligation to protect personal data.

  • Entering into service contracts with users of Gen AI services, recording their services, clarifying the rights and obligations of both parties.

  • Clarifying and disclosing the applicable population, occasions, and uses of their services, guiding users to understand and use Gen AI technology scientifically and rationally in accordance with the law.

  • Taking effective measures to prevent minors from overly relying on generative artificial intelligence.

  • Complying with user information protection obligations and using records in accordance with the law; not collecting non-essential personal information; not illegally retaining input information or using records that can identify users.

  • Clarifying and disclosing the applicable population, occasions, and uses of their services, guiding users to understand and use generative artificial intelligence technology scientifically and rationally in accordance with the law.

These measures are a result of a series of AI regulations that China has developed over several years, including initiatives like "Made in China 2025", the action plan to promote Big Data development, and the Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan. Together, they will complement Cybersecurity laws, Data Security laws, Personal Information Protection laws, as well as Deepfake Provisions and Administrative Provisions on Internet Information Service Recommendation Algorithms.

Scope of Application

These rules will apply to Gen AI-based services offered to the general public in China, while technologies developed in research institutions or intended for foreign users will be excluded.

These rules will be overseen by seven national agencies, including the cyberspace oversight body, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Education.

iFlytek, ChatGPT's Rival

China aims to achieve technological leadership by the beginning of the next decade, in 2030. Private companies are working on projects related to artificial intelligence based on data and algorithm management.

Global competition based on computing advances and industrial potential has led several firms to present their own ChatGPT-type robots.

On May 6th, China introduced iFlytek, its latest initiative in voice recognition software, designed to compete with ChatGPT in the educational and business fields. The company's goal is for its creation to surpass ChatGPT's performance in handling the Chinese language and match it in English by October.

Publicly, iFlytek presents itself as a smart voice and artificial intelligence company aimed at designing solutions that facilitate verbal communication processes and bridge languages. In its formal presentation, it claims that natural language understanding, automatic and adaptive learning and reasoning are the core focus of its developments.

The applied artificial intelligence of this platform has enabled the creation of a digital news presenter capable of delivering news in 24 different languages. It also produces various devices, some publicly accessible, that function as simultaneous translators.

iFLYTEK's strengths today lie in a series of artificial intelligence-based products and applications that impact various areas, ranging from education and health to the production of various intelligent electronic voice language translation devices and computer programs.


Generative AI has experienced extraordinary advancement in the last decade, and one of the countries at the forefront of this revolution is China.

Its determined focus on technological innovation is evident, demonstrating a strong commitment to the development of Generative AI. This commitment has led to significant advancements and contributed to the rapid progress of generative artificial intelligence in the country, making it a global pionees in terms of regulation.

Most agencies have optimistic views about the economic impact of AI on China's long-term economic growth. While China's intention is to regulate to foster an environment conducive to innovation across all industries, science, and technology with public efforts, the scenario for countries taking the initial steps in regulation presents ethical and regulatory challenges.

Data security is and will be the most common topic in the global ethical AI discussion. The use of Generative AI algorithms will continue to raise uncertainties about intellectual property and copyright, as well as privacy and data use. These challenges must be addressed to ensure that generative artificial intelligence is used in an ethical and responsible manner, not only to keep up with international competitors but also to forge its own path.


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  • ’Comprender las nuevas regulaciones de China sobre IA generativa’’ / China Briefing

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  • ‘’Made in China 2025: así es el ambicioso plan tecnológico chino que amenaza el dominio de EU’’ / Forbes

  • ‘’China busca meterse en la pelea por la Inteligencia Artificial’’ / Ámbito

  • ‘’China Regula los Servicios de Inteligencia Artificial Generativa con ChatGPT’’ / The Logistics World

  • ‘’El salto de China en la inteligencia artificial: un rival para ChatGPT y otras innovaciones’’ / Cronista

Semi Sr. Associate at Alfaro Abogados

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