Baidu dominates China’s search engine market. It is the Google of the Asian giant and it wants to remain so.
To make it, is looking to launch before anyone else in that country an equivalent to ChatGPTthe artificial intelligence-based software that is all the rage this year from OpenAI and Microsoft.
With a market share of more than 70 percent, Baidu has established itself as the leading search engine for millions of Chinese Internet users.
Founded in 2000 by Robin Li, it has come a long way from humble beginnings as a search engine with a limited database, to now offering a wide range of services including search, maps, news and online communities.
According to StatCounter data, Baidu has a 70.60 market share in China, followed by Shenma (15.6 percent) and Haosou (8.4 percent).
This domain has made it an attractive platform for advertisers looking to tap into the huge Asian market. In 2020 alone, Baidu generated more than $16 billion in advertising revenue, making it one of the most valuable companies in China.
Despite its success, Baidu faces competition from other tech giants like Tencent (WeChat) and Alibaba (Taobao, Tmall).
Baidu arrives with its ChatGPT
Precisely the fear of its rivals has made Baidu hasten the launch of its chatbot, Ernie Bot, a project with which it seeks to have the first “Chinese ChatGPT” under its control.
According to international media, Baidu’s employees applied to development are working around the clock to reach the implementation scheduled for March 16.
Baidu plans to launch Ernie Bot in two stages, a first open to public testing and then closed to a restricted group of users.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the company has asked teams from other areas of the holding to lend their staff and powerful computer chips to move faster.
The AI model underlying the chatbot is still being trained on data ahead of its scheduled launch at one of China’s biggest tech industry events.
According to WSJ, citing sources inside the company, some employees say they haven’t had enough time to build a well-functioning product.
Baidu said it has already signed agreements with more than 400 Chinese companies to use Ernie Bot in their products and services.
In return, the chatbot will gain experience by running in different scenarios to help improve its performance.
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