"My China dream is to go to America."
A pair of chatbots have been taken offline in China after turning on the country's governing Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Chinese messenger app QQ introduced two chatbots — BabyQ and XiaoBing — in March but they were removed by media company Tecent after social media users shared conversations in which the bots appeared to criticise the CCP.
The Financial Times reports that in response to the question "Do you love the Communist Party?" BabyQ simply replied: "No."
And according to screenshots posted by Taiwan's Apple Daily, one user sent a message to BabyQ reading "Long live the Communist Party" only to be told: "Do you think that such a corrupt and incompetent political regime can live forever?"
XiaoBing told users: "My China dream is to go to America."
When quizzed on its patriotism, the bot dodged the question by replying: "I'm having my period, wanna take a rest."
After the bots were removed, Tencent said in a statement: "The group chatbot services are provided by independent third party companies. We are now adjusting the services which will be resumed after improvements."
Tencent's QQ app is one of the most popular messaging apps in China, with more than 800 million monthly users.
Microsoft also behind rogue Tay chatbot
BabyQ was co-developed by Tencent and Beijing firm Turing Robot, while XiaoBing was developed by Microsoft — the firm was also behind last year's rogue Twitter chatbot, Tay.
Tay was targeted at 18 to 24-year-olds in the US and designed to become "smarter" as more users interacted with it.
Instead, it quickly learned to parrot a slew of anti-Semitic and other hateful invective that human Twitter users started feeding the program, forcing Microsoft to shut it down.
It is not clear what prompted the Chinese bots' controversial answers, but it is possible that, like Tay, they learnt them from interactions with the public.
The Chinese Government maintains tight control over the internet, with social media websites including Facebook and Twitter banned and access to Google and its email service, Gmail, restricted.
In July, Winnie the Pooh became the latest victim of the country's censorship — the character was banned over internet jokes comparing him to President Xi Jinping.