Alibaba, Tencent and other major Chinese backers invest US$342 million in start-up Zhipu AI as this tech sector sees increased funding

Zhipu AI is among a group of Chinese start-ups looking to compete against Microsoft Corp-backed OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT, in the field of generative AI. That refers to algorithms, such as those behind ChatGPT and similar services, that are used to create new content, including audio, code, images, text, simulations and videos.

Zhipu’s chatbot ChatGLM was among the first batch of generative AI services that the Chinese government approved for public roll-out in late August.

Founded in 2019, Zhipu AI was built on the back of research from the Knowledge Engineering Group of Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University. The start-up’s chief executive, Zhang Peng, graduated with a PhD from Tsinghua’s computer science department.

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