Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings is said to have set up a development team to work on a ChatGPT-like chatbot, Reuters reported.

The product, to be called “HunyuanAide”, will incorporate Tencent’s AI training model named “Hunyuan”, said the people who were not authorised to speak to media and declined to be identified, the newswire reported, quoting two people familiar with the matter.

When asked for comment, Tencent reiterated a Feb 9 statement that it is conducting research on ChatGPT-tool technology, according to the report.

Local media outlet 36kr first reported about the “HunyuanAide” project on Monday (Feb 27).

Earlier this month, China-based e-commerce firm announced that it would soon launch its own ChatGPT-style service, one the Chinese e-commerce giant claimed would power advancements and efficiencies across its core retail and emerging financial businesses, reported. ChatJD, an artificial intelligence chatbot, will be embedded in JD’s platform infrastructure, generating automated customer service responses and research output to empower sellers and shoppers.

Chinese tech giants such as Baidu and Alibaba Group have already announced plans to launch their own AI chatbots and incorporate the technology into their core businesses.

The global buzz around US-based ChatGPT has spread to China, shoring up stocks in artificial intelligence (AI) related firms and prompting a flurry of local companies to announce rival projects, Reuters reported last week.

MOSS, a ChatGPT-style chatbot platform developed by Fudan University’s Natural Language Processing Lab, crashed a day after its launch last Monday due to high demand, forcing the lab to set up an invitation-only waitlist to use the AI tool, reported last Wednesday (Feb 22).

The model, similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, was named MOSS after a quantum computer in the hit Chinese science fiction film Wandering Earth. Rolled out last Monday, MOSS was seen as ChatGPT’s first Chinese rival, but its server crash means it will no longer be directly available to the general public.

Kunlun Tech, China Telecom Corp, NetEase, 360 Security Technology Inc, Kuaishou Technology are among the Chinese firms that made announcements on AI technology, Reuters reported.