China’s Zhipu looks to Sora to chase artificial general intelligence

  • Sora, OpenAI’s text-to-video generator, will be available to the public later this year but not in China.
  • Zhipu AI, one of the first Chinese companies to explore the development of large language models (LLM), is pushing to develop similar technology to OpenAI’s Sora.

Beijing Zhipu Huazhang Technology says they are developing Sora-like technologies as a way to achieve artificial general Intelligence (AGI).

Impact of sora

OpenAI’s text-to-video generator Sora, will be available to the public later this year, prompting many firms in China – where Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT is not directly available – to redouble their efforts to catch up with recent US progress in the field.

“About the advent of Sora, first we’re not surprised, second we’re also working on [similar technology],” Zhang Peng, chief executive of Zhipu AI, said to local media outlet TMTPost this week.

Zhang praised Sora, describing its multimodal capabilities as “very advanced” and acknowledging the current technology gap between Aoi and similar projects in China.

“Sora has experienced progressive enhancement, there’s still a gap between [it] and us and we need to keep working hard,” Zhang added.

Also read: Sora won’t replace humans, and here’s why

Zhipu company

Zhipu was among the first Chinese companies to explore the development of LLMs, the technology that underpins OpenAI’s ChatGPT and similar services.

It was founded in June 2019 by a group of computer science research fellows at the prestigious Tsinghua University, one year ahead of OpenAI’s release of its GPT-3 LLM series.

Zhipu announced in October that it had raised a total of 2.5 billion yuan (US$342 million). It has been backed by a raft of China’s Big Tech companies and venture capital (VC) firms, including Alibaba Group Holding, which owns the Post, Tencent Holdings, Meituan, and Xiaomi.

Zhipu’s answer to ChatGPT was released last March – called ChatGLM. It was among the first batch of generative AI services that the Chinese government approved for public release.


Jennifer Yu

Jennifer Yu is an intern reporter at BTW Media covering artificial intelligence and products. She graduated from The University of Hong Kong. Send tips to

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