Baidu's AI Chatbot Ernie Surpasses 100M Users, Giving OpenAI A Run For Its Money

Baidu, Inc. Sponsored ADR Class A -0.55%

Baidu, Inc. Sponsored ADR Class A




Chinese technology company Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) recently revealed that its artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot, Ernie, has exceeded 100 million users.

What Happened: As CNBC reported, Baidu’s Ernie bot, a comparable product to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, topped the 100 million user mark on Thursday. Whether these figures represent active users or are related to a specific period remains unclear. Baidu’s shares rose by 3% in U.S. trading following this announcement.

Ernie bot, supporting both English and Chinese languages, was launched officially in March, with mass rollout approval granted in late August. It competes with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which reportedly had about 100 million weekly active users in November. While ChatGPT is not officially accessible in China, it does support the Chinese language. However, the Ernie bot requires a Chinese mobile number for user sign-up.

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Other Chinese tech companies, including ByteDance, Tencent, and Alibaba, also provide their chatbots to the Chinese public. In November, Baidu initiated a monthly subscription fee of around $8 for its most advanced version of Ernie bot, while ChatGPT charges $20 monthly for its latest model.

Why It Matters: Baidu’s focus on AI and its Ernie bot has been a significant part of its business strategy. In November, Goldman Sachs analyst Lincoln Kong reiterated a Buy rating on Baidu, predicting its AI focus would contribute to stable margins and revenue growth.

Baidu’s Q3 results were robust, with the company beginning to monetize its Ernie chatbot. The success of the Ernie bot, reflected in its 100 million users, appears to validate Baidu’s AI strategy and its potential for future growth in this area.

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