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Monday, June 5, 2023

China’s Baidu Cancels Planned Product Launch of its ChatGPT-rival

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Baidu, a Chinese search engine company that competes with ChatGPT, canceled a livestreamed product launch that was going to be about ChatGPT. Reuters says that the company has been advertising that its AI chatbot, Ernie bot, is open to the media and the public.

Monday afternoon was set for the webcast. But, according to the report, it was changed to a meeting behind closed doors with the first group of companies testing the product.

The company said that they had to change the format to meet the “strong demand” of the 120,000 companies that had applied to test Ernie bot. It also said that this would be the first of many meetings that would be held behind closed doors.

China’s Baidu shares traded in Hong Kong fell as much as 4.5% on Monday morning when the news of the cancellation first came out.

On March 16, Baidu CEO Robin Li introduced Ernie bot, China’s closest analogue to the American-made ChatGPT. He gave a live-streamed presentation in which he walked journalists through a series of pre-recorded demos that showed off the Chinese Baidu chatbot’s different skills.

The company’s share price went down while the presentation was still being livestreamed, but it went back up the next day. This was partly because Chinese corporations wanted generative artificial intelligence (AI), which is the technology behind products like Ernie bot and ChatGPT, in high quantities.



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