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Chinese internet giants hand algorithm data to govt

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Beijing, Aug 16 (Ajit Weekly News) Chinese internet giants including Alibaba, Tiktok-owner ByteDance and Tencent have shared details of their algorithms with Beijing’s regulators for the first time.

Algorithms decide what users see and the order they see it in and are critical to driving the growth of social media platforms.

They are closely guarded by companies, the BBC reported.

In the US Meta and Alphabet have successfully argued they are trade secrets amid calls for more disclosure.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has published a list with the descriptions of 30 algorithms, the BBC reported.

In a statement it said that its algorithm list would be routinely updated in a bid to curb data abuse.

Among the listed algorithms is one belonging to e-commerce website Taobao, owned by Alibaba.

The Mandarin document said Taobao’s algorithm “recommends products or services to users through their digital footprint and historical search data”.

ByteDance’s algorithm for Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, is said to gauge user interests through what they click, comment on, “like” or “dislike”.

Chinese regulators have been tightening their grip on the technology sector for nearly two years now.

The country adopted new rules for algorithms in March – which allow users to opt out of contributing to recommendations.

It also required algorithms with “public opinion properties or social mobilisation capabilities” to register with the CAC, the BBC reported.

–Ajit Weekly News


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