China’s Baidu postpones public launch of ChatGPT-like product, shares dip

Ernie is an acronym that stands for "Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration."
Mrigakshi Dixit
Representational image
Representational image

Yongyuan Dai/iStock 

Following the much-awaited announcement of the Ernie bot, China's Baidu has scrapped the product's public launch, at least for now. Ernie is an acronym that stands for "Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration."

According to Reuters, Baidu canceled a planned live-streamed product launch, which was scheduled for Monday, March 27. Initially, it was advertised that the webcast event was open to the media as well as the public. Later, it was revealed that the webcast was only available to the first batch of companies involved in Ernie-bot testing. 

As per Reuters, the change from a public event to a closed-door meeting was made to accommodate the 120,000 companies that had applied to test the Ernie bot.

Post this cancellation, the company's Hong Kong-listed shares fell by 4.5 percent on Monday morning. 

The Chinese search engine giant announced this ChatGPT-like "Ernie bot" in February 2023. And finally unveiled Ernie-bot in a live presentation on March 16.

The company's stock price fell shortly after the first presentation on March 16. The audience was dissatisfied with Ernie bot's limited presentation, which was based on some brief, pre-recorded videos. However, the shares recovered after this day. 

Ernie-bot is said to be one of the top competitors of ChatGPT, which has already taken the world by storm. China's artificial intelligence-powered bot is developed to execute a wide range of tasks, including math problem-solving, poem writing, and creating images and videos.