Chinese regulators recently summoned 11 domestic technology companies including Alibaba Group, Tencent, and ByteDance for talks on use of ‘deepfake’ technologies on their content platforms, stepping up scrutiny of the sector.
China’s cyberspace administrator said in a statement on Thursday that it and the public security ministry met with the companies to talk about “security assessments” and potential problems with deepfakes and audio social apps. Kuaishou Technology and Xiaomi also attended the meeting, it said.
All the companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Deepfakes use artificial intelligence to create hyper-realistic but fake videos or audios where a person appears to say or do something they did not.
China has increased scrutiny of its Internet giants in recent months, citing concerns over monopolistic behaviour and potential infringement of consumer rights.
Regulators also told the companies to “conduct security assessments on their own” and submit reports to the government when they plan to add new functions or new information services that “have the ability to mobilise society”, the statement said.
There has been a surge in China in copycats of the audio app Clubhouse since the US-based chat service was blocked in the country in early February.
Clubhouse was briefly accessible in China, attracting many users who participated in discussions on sensitive topics such as Xinjiang detention camps and Hong Kong independence, before it was shut down by authorities.
Other new offerings include Kuaishou’s invitation-based Feichuan app and Xiaomi’s reworking of Mi Talk app into an invitation-only audio service targeted at professionals.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
Has the Redmi Note 10 Series raised the bar in the budget phone market in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.