Tencent restricts ChatGPT mini programs on Wechat

ChatGPT, a prototype chatbot developed by San Francisco-based artificial intelligence lab Open AI, was taken down by Tencent’s WeChat on the premise that “the content belongs to the platform’s unopened service scope”. Additionally, the Chinese platform has removed any related mini-program related to the AI chatbot service. 

Prior to its removal, the latest OpenAI chatbot was a nationwide hit among tech-savvy Chinese people, even though the service was officially unavailable for users in the country and required a VPN (or virtual private network) to access. Some users even managed to connect ChatGPT directly to WeChat, allowing everyone to use the feature in the WeChat dialogue box. Now, however, they appear to have been restricted on the Chinese platform. 

Meanwhile, on Chinese social media platforms, ChatGPT-related discussions soared as users shared screenshots of their discussions with the chatbot. According to the news outlet South Morning China Post, common interactions with Chinese users included asking the chatbot to write up haikus or emails.

In other cases, some asked the artificial intelligence programme for a block of code, life advice, or simply poke fun at the system. On the Chinese social media platform Weibo, the hashtag “ChatGPT” has garnered over 14 million views as of December 16, 2022.

At present, WeChat seems to have taken down any ChatGPT-related mini programs, and no related programs can be found using search keywords. The restriction of ChatGPT on WeChat is sure to be a disappointment to users who thoroughly enjoyed interacting with the AI chatbot.


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