Baidu cancels planned product launch of its ChatGPT-rival

Baidu cancels planned product launch of its ChatGPT-rival

Tech News

Chinese search engine giant Baidu has cancelled a planned livestreamed product launch related to its ChatGPT-rival. According to a report by Reuters, the company has advertised its AI chatbot – Ernie bot as being open to media and the public.

The webcast was scheduled for Monday afternoon. But as per the report, it was switched to a closed-door meeting with the first batch of companies that are testing the product.

The company cited change in format in order to satisfy the “strong demand” from 120,000 companies that had applied to test Ernie bot as the reason behind it. It further added that this would be the first of many closed-door meetings.

Baidu’s Hong Kong-listed shares fell as much as 4.5% on Monday morning on initial reports of the cancellation.

Ernie bot, so far China’s closest answer to U.S.-developed ChatGPT, was launched on March 16 by Baidu CEO Robin Li, who gave a livestreamed presentation that walked journalists through a series of pre-recorded demos displaying the Chinese chatbot’s different capabilities.

The company’s share price dropped while the presentation was still being livestreamed but rebounded the following day, due in part to strong demand from the Chinese corporate sector for generative artificial intelligence (AI), the technology powering products like Ernie bot and ChatGPT.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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