China’s tech giants succumb, submit algorithms

China’s internet giants from Tencent Holdings to ByteDance have shared details of their prized algorithms with Beijing for the first time ever.

The move is Beijing’s shot at curbing data abuse.

The internet watchdog on Friday published a list describing 30 algorithms that firms including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Meituan employ to gather data on users, tailor personal recommendations and serve up content.

The algorithms that decide which TikTok videos, WeChat posts and Instagram photos users see are considered the secret sauce of many online services.

China in March adopted regulations that require internet firms to disclose such tools, an effort to address complaints about data abuse that also helps regulators keep internet firms on a tighter leash.

The algorithm list available for public review is confined to short descriptions of how they work, and the product and use cases where they apply.

Under the regulations, companies must also submit non-public information to the CAC, including a self-appraisal on the security of the algorithms, the data they collect, whether that encompasses sensitive biometric or identity information, and what data sources are used to train algorithms.

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