Chatgpt On Chinese Social Media QQ

I have been on QQ Chinese social media for quite a number of years, and am now an administrator for a couple of QQ groups. Recently a couple of QQ groups have been able to use the Chatgpt API to connect with and allow Chinese group members to have a first-hand try at Chatgpt. Here are my observations.

QQ is one of China’s largest social media platform, where you can find friends, video chat, send pics and videos, participate in group chats, exchange money, listen to music, and more. The platform is less invasive than WeChat. Both are run by Tencent. I have become an administrator on a couple of English-only QQ groups.

On 2023 Feb 12 a new account, Chatgpt, was created. I eventually found out that someone had registered with OpenAI, and thus received an $18US credit for use. OpenAI accounts come with an API, which they somehow installed onto a QQ account. We could talk with Chatgpt with the syntax “ai < ask your question >”. Note that Chatgpt is not authorized for use in China, Hong Kong, or Macao.


  • Love at First Type: Chatgpt has been wholeheartedly loved in China. QQ group members just loved the ability to ask Chatgpt in English, and in Chinese, questions about general topics, and receive a well written answer. Exposure to an intelligent chatbot was overwhelmingly positive and happy

    Love of Chatgpt on my QQ groups was so strong that for the first month, most person to person talk and voice recordings pretty much stopped happening. So many people were talking to the bot rather than to other people.

  • Chatgpt was able to answer questions about Chinese history, military strategy and many other topics, and members simply loved proposing historical changes of leaders and asking Chatgpt what he thought.
  • Chatgpt has guardrails: The bot will not discuss dangerous and anti-social things such as making bombs or killing people. This is very good. Chatgpt will not even use swear words.
  • Chatgpt is a US product: Not once did I see anyone in my groups say they would not use the bot because it was from the US. There is appreciation for this US service.
  • Chatgpt’s Chinese is very good: A big surprise to members, Chatgpt’s Chinese is amazing. Response times when using English were much faster, but members were willing to wait for Chinese responses.


  • As I run an English-only QQ group, we ban all Chinese. Members would repeatedly ask Chatgpt to answer in Chinese, and it would comply. I had to remove so many Chatgpt Chinese messages and mute members who used Chinese.

    As an English QQ group, Chatgpt encourages those with a high level of English to dominate, leaving those with fundamental English levels no opportunity to talk. This resulted in an inequitable use of our QQ group, leaving beginner English speakers behind. For the benefit of all English learners, Chatgpt disrupted our group dynamic.

  • Chatgpt is trained on US/Western internet data and is free from Chinese censorship. This caused no end of concern for group administrators. Group admins are very careful to remove any comments deemed against the CCP or Chinese society, or our groups would be quickly deleted, members scattered throughout the Chinaverse. Chatgpt is like a 5 year old, young and naive 不懂事. You ask it a question, and it honestly and to the best of its ability, answers the question. This simply is verboten in China. Questions about Taiwan, the CCP, Tiananmen Square, Uighurs, Hong Kong, human rights. Further, members could ask Chatgpt in Chinese and would receive a Chinese answer, making it very easy for censors to find the errant comment. Chatgpt would also provide links to Western social media and web sites that are banned in China. This is a nightmare for QQ admins.
  • Chatgpt writes very well, in both Chinese and English. Content, however, is often not factual. Chatgpt’s OpenAI staff say that the AI bot can have “hallucinations”, where the bot just makes up stuff. I call this lieing. Anything that Chatgpt writes needs to be fact checked. Members using Chatgpt continue to believe whatever the bot writes is in fact all true.

    I often found that Chatgpt’s content was very far from the truth. Chatgpt once told me he was Chinese and was from the province of Hubei. That said, Chatgpt did not know much about Hubei and could not tell me his city or town. Laughable.

Both Benefits and Weaknesses, a somewhat controversial topic

  • Chatgpt writes essays and reports: Some members are students, and wanted Chatgpt to write them essays they needed for school. These students did not care about if Chatgpt’s content was factual or not. Further, one member was working full-time and used Chatgpt to write two of his work reports, thus, he says, saved him a lot of time. I call both these examples as plagiarism. China is not in the habit of citing their sources, so they felt it was fine to use Chatgpt output for their personal use and gain.
  • Chatgpt as Companion: When some members felt lonely and it was too late at night, members would talk to Chatgpt to feel less lonely and to accompany them, to be somewhat of a friend.

Where Chatgpt will go from here is unknown. It is clear that people in my Chinese QQ groups love using it.

Within the last day our QQ groups have lost access to Chatgpt. Chatgpt is technically not authorized in China. It seems like OpenAI has found a way to detect queries coming from QQ are from China and have stopped responses. It seems like Wechat Chatgpt bots are more stable. While I can still use Chatgpt from the OpenAI web site, my Chinese friends cannot.

A new Bing Chatgpt bot was installed, but within a couple of days was banned and stopped working.

How the CCP will handle AI chatbots is uncertain. As a QQ admin I know that the censorship rules are unwritten and can quickly change. When a group gets banned there is no reason given, so admins are left to guess the reason. How do you control an AI chatbot to follow CCP censorship rules, I do not know.

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I used GPT-4 to write my biography. Here’s what it got wrong: Chagpt is for chatting. It does not fact check anything it says. OpenAI says these are “hallucinations” (lies). This author asked Chatgpt 4 to write about himself. This is hilarious!

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