China cancels rival version of ChatGPT “Baidu”

Reuters, March 27, Beijing – Chinese search engine giant Baidu (9888.HK) has cancelled a livestreamed event that was scheduled to introduce its ChatGPT-like “Ernie bot” to the public and media on Monday.

The webcast, which was originally slated for Monday afternoon, has been changed to a private meeting with the first group of businesses evaluating the product, according to a statement released by Baidu on Monday morning.

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The business stated that the format modification was necessary to accommodate the “strong demand” from the 120,000 companies that sought to test the Ernie bot. It is also the first of several sessions behind closed doors.

The declination

Initial news of the cancellation caused Baidu’s Hong Kong-listed shares to decline as much as 4.5% on Monday morning.

China’s version of ChatGPT, known as Ernie bot, was introduced on March 16 by Baidu CEO Robin Li. During a live-streamed presentation, Li took journalists through a number of pre-recorded demos showcasing the Chinese chatbot’s various skills.

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While the presentation was still being live-streamed, the stock price of the company fell. However, it soon recovered. Thanks in part to the Chinese corporate sector’s high demand for generative AI the technology that underpins goods like Ernie bot and ChatGPT.

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