China’s New AI Regulations

AI regulation in China has taken an important step with the release of the Interim Measures for the Management of Generative AI Services (生成式人工智能服务管理暂行办法). Together with the Cyberspace Administration of China, the Measures were issued on July 10, 2023, by the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Public Security, and State Administration of Radio and Television. The new regulations will come into force on August 15, 2023.

The stated objective of the Measures, is “to promote the healthy development and standardized application of generative artificial intelligence, safeguard national security and social public interests, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations.” Their application is limited to generative AI technology made available to the Chinese public. Generative AI technology is defined as “models and related technologies that have the ability to generate content such as text, pictures, audio, and video.”

Under the Measures, providers of generative AI services are required to use “data and basic models with legitimate sources” and not infringe on the intellectual property rights of others (see AI and Copyright in China for an exploration of other IP issues coming to the fore in China as AI technology continues to advance). They must also take obtain the consent of individuals whose personal information is used and “take effective measures to improve the quality of training date, and enhance the authenticity, accuracy, objectivity, and diversity of training data.”

Where content such as images or videos are generated, providers must mark the resulting content in accordance with the previously issued Provisions on the Administration of Deep Synthesis Internet Information Services (互联网信息服务深度合成管理规定), which seeks to control the use of deepfake technology. The Measures require providers to “conduct security assessments in accordance with relevant national regulations, and perform algorithm filing, modification, and cancellation procedures in accordance with the Provisions on the Administration of Algorithmic Recommendation Services [互联网信息服务算法推荐管理规定].”

Ever-evolving AI is transforming the world around us, and countries around the globe are scrambling to adjust their legislation to keep pace. As an aspiring AI power, China will certainly be no exception. What is more, its efforts in this area could serve as a prelude to what other countries adopt in the years to come.


AI = 人工智能 réngōng zhìnéng

Algorithm = 算法 suànfǎ

Deepfake = 深度伪造 shēndù wèizào