Ernie: China’s Baidu has sued Apple over fake versions of its ChatGPT rival Ernie bot


Chinese search engine giant Baidu has filed lawsuits against “relevant” app developers and Apple over fake copies of its ChatGPT rival Ernie bot. The Chinese company claims that there are fake apps available on Apple’s app store for Ernie bot. Launched last month, the company’s artificial intelligence powered Ernie bot has been touted as China’s closest answer to the US-developed chatbot ChatGPT.
What the lawsuit says
In its lawsuit, Baidu said that it had lodged lawsuits in Beijing Haidian People’s Court against the developers behind the counterfeit apps of its Ernie bot and the Apple company. “At present, Ernie does not have any official app,” Baidu said in a statement posted on its official “Baidu AI” WeChat account. The company also posted a photograph of its court filing.
Fake apps on App Store
In its statement the company said that the apps claiming to be versions of Ernie bot on Apple App Store are fake. “Until our company’s official announcement, any Ernie app you see from App Store or other stores are fake,” it said. So far, the Ernie bot is only available to users who apply for and receive access codes. In its statement, Baidu has also warned against people selling access codes.
Apple so far has not responded to the claims. According to research by news agency Reuters, there were at least four apps bearing the Chinese-language name of the Ernie bot, all fake, in Apple’s App Store (as on April 8).
Rough debut for Ernie Bot
Baidu CEO Robin Li launched Ernie Bot on March 16 at an event where he gave a live streamed 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 live streamed but rebounded the following day, due in part to strong demand from the Chinese corporate sector.
Earlier this month, Baidu shared pre-recorded videos of its AI-powered chatbot Ernie summarising financial statements and producing powerpoint presentations, among other industry-focused capabilities.
(With agency inputs)


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