- Baidu’s Ernie Bot did not satisfy investors.
- It was introduced in China with pre-recorded videos and was disappointing.
- The chatbot with which Baidu hopes to lead the segment in Asia has not started well.
Baidu officially unveiled the long-awaited AI-powered chatbot called “Ernie Bot” on Thursday, March 16.
However, the product with which the Chinese technology giant hopes to lead that market segment in China, investors disappointed because it was presented with pre-recorded videos and was not enabled for immediate use.
As a consequence, Baidu’s shares collapsed.
The presentation came hours after Alphabet unveiled the chatbot that will implement Google Workspace services, so expect some impressive staging, which it didn’t.
For the worse, great expectations had been created since Ernie Bot was expected to be the strongest rival to face ChatGPT, from OpenAi and backed by Microsoft.
However, unlike ChatGPT, which was launched in late 2022 as a free and public chatbot, Baidu limited the presentation to a few videos that showed Ernie Bot can do math, speak Chinese dialects and generate images with text prompts.
Furthermore, it was said that will only be open to an initial group of users with invitation codes.
Instantly, Baidu’s Hong Kong-listed shares fell more than 10 percent, slashing more than $5 billion from the Asian search engine giant’s market valuation.
Baidu wants to continue to dominate in China
With a market share With more than 70%, Baidu is the search engine of choice for hundreds of millions of Internet users in China. Founded in 2000 by Li, it has come a long way from humble beginnings as a search engine with a limited database, to today offering a wide range of services including search, maps, news and online communities.
According to information from StatCounter, Baidu has a market share 70% in China, followed by Shenma (16 percent) and Haosou (8 percent).
This domain has made it an attractive platform for advertisers looking to tap into the giant Asian market.
In 2020 alone, Baidu generated more than $16.5 billion in advertising revenue, making it one of the most valuable companies in China.
Although Baidu’s success is enviable, in recent years it faces competition from other tech giants such as Tencent (WeChat) and Alibaba (Taobao, Tmall).
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