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China’s audacious step in the AI competition: Emulating OpenAI’s sophisticated video model

ByYasmeeta Oon

Mar 7, 2024

China’s audacious step in the AI competition: Emulating OpenAI’s sophisticated video model

In an ambitious move that underscores China’s growing prowess in the technological arena, researchers from Peking University and AI company Rabbitpre have embarked on a groundbreaking project that aims to rival OpenAI’s innovative text-to-video model, Sora. This project, named Open-Sora, is a testament to China’s escalating engagement with generative AI technologies, marking a significant milestone in the nation’s technological advancements.

Embracing Collaborative Innovation

The Open-Sora initiative is not merely a project but a statement of China’s aspirations in the global artificial intelligence landscape. It symbolizes a collective effort, leveraging the open-source community to recreate and potentially advance upon the capabilities of OpenAI’s Sora model. Hosted on GitHub since its inception on March 1, Open-Sora is a beacon of collaborative innovation, with its progress transparently shared online.

Showcasing Early Successes

The GitHub repository of Open-Sora serves as a window into the project’s developments, featuring a structured three-part framework alongside four demonstrative videos. These videos, varying in duration from three to a whopping 24 seconds, not only display a range of resolutions and aspect ratios but also highlight the project’s adaptability and burgeoning potential.

Key Highlights of Open-Sora:

  • Framework and Demos: The project delineates a comprehensive framework and includes four demo videos that showcase its initial capabilities in video generation.
  • Technological Ambitions: The team behind Open-Sora harbors ambitions to enhance the resolution of the videos generated, with plans to process a larger volume of data and employ an increased number of GPUs.

The Global Race in AI Video Technology

The unveiling of OpenAI’s Sora in February catalyzed a worldwide fervor within the AI community, prompting varied reactions from the Chinese tech and business sectors. While there’s enthusiasm for exploring the potential of text-to-video AI models, concerns about maintaining a competitive edge, especially amidst US trade restrictions on advanced chip exports, are palpable.

Despite these challenges, Chinese tech giants are forging ahead with their innovations:

  • Tencent AI introduced VideoCrafter2, an open-source video generation toolkit, albeit with a two-second video limitation.
  • ByteDance launched MagicVideo-V2, offering a more comprehensive text-to-video model.
  • Alibaba Group’s Damo Vision Intelligence Lab unveiled ModelScope, focusing on English inputs and generating two-second videos.

Innovators Behind Open-Sora

The Rabbitpre AIGC Joint Lab, a collaboration between Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School and Rabbitpre, is the powerhouse behind Open-Sora. Established in June 2023, this joint lab is at the forefront of AI-generated content research.

Key Personalities in the Open-Sora Team:

  • Academic Leaders: The team includes Assistant Professor Yuan Li from Peking University’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Professor Tian Yonghong from the School of Computer Science.
  • Industry Experts: Rabbitpre’s founder and CEO, Dong Shaoling, alongside chief technology officer, Zhou Xing, play pivotal roles in the project.

The Path Forward: Enhancing AI Video Generation

The Open-Sora project not only embodies China’s technological ambitions but also highlights the spirit of collaboration that propels innovation in the AI sphere. As the project evolves, its impact on AI video technology is poised to be substantial, potentially redefining standards in the domain.

Strategic Objectives and Future Plans:

  • Elevating Video Quality: A primary goal is to improve the resolution of the generated videos, making them more detailed and lifelike.
  • Expanding Data Processing: By processing more data, the project aims to enhance the AI model’s learning capabilities.
  • Utilizing Advanced Hardware: Increasing the use of GPUs will allow for faster and more efficient video generation.


The Open-Sora project is a pivotal chapter in China’s AI narrative, illustrating the country’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of technological innovation. With a blend of academic insight and industry acumen, the team behind Open-Sora is not just creating a new tool but is shaping the future of AI video technology. As the project progresses, it will undoubtedly continue to captivate the global tech community, setting new benchmarks for what is possible in the realm of artificial intelligence.

Table 1: Comparison of AI Video Generation Projects

ProjectOrganizationVideo Length CapabilityLanguage SupportOpen-Source
Open-SoraPeking University & RabbitpreUp to 24 secondsTBDYes
VideoCrafter2Tencent AIUp to 2 secondsTBDYes
ModelScopeAlibaba GroupUp to 2 secondsEnglishNo

In summary, the Open-Sora project marks a significant stride in the AI field, reflecting China’s commitment to innovation and collaboration. As it advances, it holds the promise of setting new paradigms in video generation technology, contributing to the global AI revolution.

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Featured Image courtesy of DALL-E by ChatGPT

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.