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China’s Ant Group invests $2.9 billion in technology research last year

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s Ant Group said Thursday it invested a record high 21.19 billion yuan ($2.92 billion) in technology research and development in 2023, largely focussed on AI technology.

The firm, which disclosed the investments as part of its 2023 sustainability report, last year received Chinese government approval to release products powered by its “Bailing” artificial intelligence (AI) large language model to the public.

The financial affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, also said as part of the report that the model has been powering various AI assistants on its Alipay platform, including a “smart healthcare manager” and “smart financial manager”.

($1 = 7.2508 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Casey Hall; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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