Chinese internet firms provide govt with algorithm data

BEIJING: Chinese internet behemoths Tencent, ByteDance, and Alibaba have for the first time disclosed specifics of their algorithms to Beijing's regulators.

The algorithms, which determine what users see and how they view it, are essential to the development of social media platforms. Companies keep a careful eye on them, refer to the BBC.

Despite pleas for increased disclosure, Meta and Alphabet in the US have successfully maintained that they are trade secrets. As per the BBC, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has produced a list with descriptions of 30 algorithms.

In a statement, it said that its algorithm list would be periodically updated in a bid to curb data abuse. One of the stated algorithms comes from the Alibaba-owned e-commerce platform Taobao.

The Taobao algorithm "recommends products or services to users through their digital footprint and historical search data," the Mandarin document said.

According to reports, the ByteDance algorithm for Douyin, China's equivalent of TikTok, determines user interests based on what users click, comment on, "like," or "dislike." For almost two years, Chinese policymakers have been strengthening their control over the technology industry.

In March, the nation passed new laws governing algorithms, allowing individuals to choose not to participate in the creation of suggestions. It also required algorithms with "social mobilisation capabilities or public opinion properties " to register with the CAC, the BBC reported.

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