Baidu's AI chatbot Ernie exceeds 200 million user mark in eight months

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Baidu's AI chatbot Ernie exceeds 200 million user mark in eight months
Credit: © Reuters.

On Tuesday, Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU ) announced that its AI chatbot, Ernie Bot, has reached over 200 million users, reinforcing its position as China’s leading chatbot despite growing competition.

The milestone was revealed by Robin Li, Baidu's CEO, during a conference in Shenzhen. The chatbot was launched publicly eight months ago, and its user base has doubled since December, when it surpassed 100 million users.

Moreover, Li highlighted that Ernie Bot's application programming interface (API) is being utilized 200 million times daily, indicating the frequency with which users engage with the chatbot for various tasks.

The number of enterprise clients using Ernie Bot has also seen significant growth, reaching 85,000.

“In 2024, we expect AI revenues contribution to become more meaningful, while our core business will remain resilient,” Li said in a February earnings call.

Ernie Bot, which processes over 50 million queries each day, was the first locally developed ChatGPT-like AI to be announced in China in March of last year. It received approval for public release in August, making it one of the first eight AI chatbots to be officially sanctioned in China.

In contrast to other countries, China requires companies to secure government approval before launching generative AI services.

Despite entering the market later, the “Kimi” chatbot, developed by the Alibaba-backed startup Moonshot AI, which is just a year old, is also growing at a rapid pace.

According to projections by Barclays, China's AI market is expected to grow significantly, reaching over $26 billion by 2026, marking a notable increase from just under $15 billion last year.

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