ChatGPT's China Rival 'Ernie Bot' By Baidu Surpasses 200M Users Amid Fierce Competition

Ernie Bot, the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot developed by China’s Baidu Inc BIDU, has amassed over 200 million users, the company revealed on Tuesday.

What Happened: The number of users for the AI chatbot has doubled since the last update in December, reported Reuters. The chatbot was made available to the public eight months ago.

Baidu’s CEO Robin Li also disclosed that Ernie Bot’s application programming interface (API) is being used 200 million times every day. The chatbot has attracted 85,000 enterprise clients.

In February, Li informed analysts that Baidu had started generating revenue from Ernie. In the fourth quarter, the company earned several hundred million yuan by using AI to enhance its ad services and assist other companies in constructing their own models.

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Ernie Bot was the first locally developed ChatGPT-like chatbot to be announced in China last March. However, it only received approval for public release in August, making it one of the first eight AI chatbots approved by Beijing.

Despite the impressive growth, Baidu faces stiff competition from other domestic AI services. Moonshot AI, an Alibaba-backed startup, has seen its “Kimi” chatbot rapidly gaining ground on Ernie Bot, according to the report.

Despite the impressive growth in the domestic market, Chinese generative AI services still lag behind their Western counterparts. According to, OpenAI’s ChatGPT remains the world’s most popular generative AI service, with total traffic growing 9% to reach 1.86 billion views last month.

Why It Matters: Baidu’s AI chatbot has been making significant strides in the past year. In December, the company announced that Ernie had surpassed 100 million users, putting it in direct competition with OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

In October, Baidu launched an upgraded version of the Ernie bot, showcasing advanced capabilities. This move was seen as a strategic step to maintain its position in the fiercely competitive AI market.

The company has been bullish about the chatbot’s potential, with analysts noting its strong start in monetization.

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Image Via Shutterstock

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