Baidu, often known as China’s Google, has its very own AI chatbot called “Ernie Bot” which has now gained an impressive 200 million users. The Ernie chatbot seeks to remain China’s most used ChatGPT rival and keep the fierce AI competition around the world going. Ernie Bot was only released eight months ago and has managed to roughly double its total users since December 2023.

Speaking at a conference in Shenzhen, Baidu CEO Robin Li revealed that Ernie Bot’s application programming interface (API) is utilized 200 million times daily, indicating a high level of user engagement with tasks performed by the chatbot. Additionally, Li noted that the chatbot has amassed 85,000 enterprise clients.

In a recent briefing with analysts which took place in February this year, Li mentioned that Baidu has begun to see revenue generation from Ernie. Specifically, in the fourth quarter, the company reported earning several hundred million yuan, largely through leveraging AI to enhance its advertising services and assisting other companies in developing their own AI models.

Ernie Bot was originally unveiled as China’s first ChatGPT-like LLM in March 2023, but it only received regulatory approval from the Chinese government in August, after which it was released to the public. This was only one of the 8 AI chatbots that were approved by China that month.

In China, unlike in many other nations, companies must secure regulatory approval before launching generative AI services.

Recent statistics indicate that domestic competitors are rapidly gaining ground on Baidu’s Ernie Bot. Notably, the “Kimi” chatbot, developed by Moonshot AI, a fledgling startup backed by Alibaba and only a year old, is showing significant traction.

According to data from, a website that monitors traffic to online AI services, Ernie Bot recorded 14.9 million visits across its app and website last month. In comparison, Kimi attracted 12.6 million visits during the same period, underscoring its growing popularity.

Meanwhile, OpenAI’s ChatGPT which is the leading AI chatbot in the world, still has a massive lead with billions of active users, but rivals such as Anthrhopic are showing rapid growth ever since its Claude 3.0 release. ChatGPT’s growth, on the other hand, has been stagnating for over a year.

Via: Reuters