HANGZHOU, CHINA – NOVEMBER 23: People learn about Baidu’s artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot service ERNIE Bot during the 2nd Global Digital Trade Expo at Hangzhou International Expo Center on November 23, 2023 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. (Photo by Wang Gang/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)
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BEIJING — Chinese tech company Baidu said Thursday its ChatGPT-like artificial intelligence product, Ernie bot, has surpassed 100 million users.
Baidu shares closed 3% higher in U.S. trading, keeping the stock mildly higher for 2023. The company did not specify whether the Ernie bot user numbers were active or for a specific time period.
Ernie bot, which can be used in English in addition to its primary language of Chinese, requires a China mobile number for user registration. The app is called “Wenxinyiyan” in Mandarin Chinese.
TikTok parent ByteDance offers a chatbot called Doubao, which ranked second in the free-to-use productivity category in Apple’s app store in China as of Friday morning.
Tencent and Alibaba have focused more on AI products for business partners, but both offer chatbots to the public in China. Tencent’s sits inside its widely used WeChat messaging and social media app.
In November, Baidu started charging about $8 a month for its most advanced version of Ernie bot. ChatGPT charges $20 a month to use its latest available model.
— CNBC’s Hayden Field contributed to this report.