The Beijing city government is seeking to nurture domestic artificial intelligence (AI) firms by supporting their development of large AI models to rival those of Microsoft-backed OpenAI's hit chatbot ChatGPT, according to a Reuters report.

Beijing is home to 1,048 core AI companies or 29% of the country's total, and the government aims to accelerate the supply of basic data and build an open-source framework. These developments come as China seeks to reduce its reliance on foreign AI technologies, given the potential security risks and limitations posed by US export controls.

Chinese tech companies, including Baidu and Alibaba, are expected to develop rival AI chatbots, given the rapid growth of ChatGPT in China. While residents cannot create OpenAI accounts to access the AI chatbot, companies are rushing to integrate the technology into their products.

The Chinese government has not commented on ChatGPT, but state media has warned about stock market risks amid a frenzy over local ChatGPT-concept stocks. As China seeks to expand its own AI capabilities, its regulators are likely to scrutinize the development of AI models and associated products to ensure compliance with ethical standards.