Microsoft’s Azure in China gives access to banned OpenAI, sparking trade tensions


In a surprising turn of events, it has been revealed that OpenAI models are still accessible in China through Microsoft Azure’s cloud, despite the ban imposed by the company. This revelation comes amidst the escalating tech trade tensions between the US and China, with Microsoft’s circumvention of the restriction potentially giving it a competitive edge in the ongoing battle.

The exclusive report by The Information uncovered that Azure China, in partnership with 21Vianet, continues to offer OpenAI’s services in the region. Three Azure customers in China confirmed that they still have access to OpenAI’s models through the cloud platform, with two customers admitting to using the models to train AI systems sold to Chinese clients.

Microsoft clarified that the Azure regions managed by 21Vianet are isolated instances from its global cloud infrastructure, although they are built on the same technical foundation. The company neither confirmed nor denied the accessibility of OpenAI models through Azure in China.

This development highlights the evolving landscape of China’s tech industry, where emerging players are eager to capitalize on the gap left by the ban on OpenAI models. As US-based tech giants navigate the complex web of trade restrictions, their ability to adapt and find loopholes like this could significantly impact their competitive position in the global market.

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Aryan Sharma
Aryan Sharma
Aryan is our dedicated writer and manager for the OpenAI category. With a deep passion for artificial intelligence and its transformative potential, Aryan brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to his articles. With a knack for breaking down complex concepts into easily digestible content, he keeps our readers informed and engaged.

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