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Baidu reports that its AI chatbot, ‘Ernie Bot’, has reached 200 million users.

ByYasmeeta Oon

May 2, 2024
Baidu reports that its AI chatbot, 'Ernie Bot', has reached 200 million users.

Baidu reports that its AI chatbot, ‘Ernie Bot’, has reached 200 million users.

HONG KONG – In a significant development within China’s artificial intelligence sector, Baidu’s Ernie Bot, a chatbot akin to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, has reached a new usage milestone, amassing over 200 million users. This announcement was made by Robin Li, CEO of the Chinese internet giant, at a technology conference held in Shenzhen on Tuesday. Launched just eight months ago, Ernie Bot has rapidly become a cornerstone in China’s AI landscape, underpinning Baidu’s status in a fiercely competitive market.

Since its last update in December, when it reported reaching 100 million users, Ernie Bot has effectively doubled its user base, underscoring its widespread acceptance and robust growth trajectory. This growth is not only reflected in user numbers but also in its daily interactions, with the chatbot’s application programming interface (API) now being used 200 million times each day.

Milestones and Usage Statistics for Ernie Bot
August (Release)Ernie Bot launched to the public
DecemberSurpassed 100 million users
AprilReached 200 million users
Daily200 million API calls
Clients85,000 enterprise clients

Ernie Bot’s achievement is notable not just in terms of user count but also in its foundational role in enterprise solutions, boasting 85,000 corporate clients leveraging its capabilities for varied business applications. This widespread adoption makes Ernie Bot a pivotal player in Baidu’s strategy to lead the Chinese market in generative AI technology.

China’s approach to AI deployment is notably cautious, with the government requiring companies to secure official approval before releasing generative AI services. This regulatory environment shapes the competitive landscape significantly. Ernie Bot was one of the first eight AI chatbots to receive such approval in August last year, marking it as the pioneer among locally developed ChatGPT-like services.

Despite Baidu’s early lead, the competition is not far behind. Recent data indicates that Moonshot AI’s Kimi, a newer entrant backed by Alibaba and launched just a year ago, is quickly closing the gap. According to figures from, which tracks online traffic to AI services, Ernie Bot registered 14.9 million visits across its app and website last month. However, Kimi recorded 12.6 million visits in the same period, demonstrating a rapid adoption rate with an impressive 321.6% growth in March over the previous month, compared to Ernie Bot’s growth rate of 48%.

Globally, China’s AI services still trail behind Western counterparts. OpenAI’s ChatGPT remains the leader with a staggering 1.86 billion views last month, representing a 9% increase from the previous month. The global popularity of Western AI platforms highlights the competitive pressures and the potential for Chinese AI technologies to bridge the gap.

  • Continued Growth: The trajectory for Ernie Bot suggests continued growth with potential expansions in capabilities and further integration into enterprise solutions.
  • Technological Innovations: Baidu is likely to invest heavily in advancing Ernie Bot’s underlying technology, possibly introducing more personalized and context-aware features.
  • Competitive Strategy: To maintain its lead, Baidu may explore new market segments, possibly extending Ernie Bot’s reach internationally where regulations permit.
  • Rival Watch: Keeping an eye on rapidly advancing competitors like Kimi will be crucial for Baidu as the AI landscape continues to evolve rapidly.

As the AI sector grows, the strategic moves by companies like Baidu and their competitors will significantly influence not only the technology landscape but also how businesses and consumers engage with AI technologies. With its impressive user base and robust functionality, Ernie Bot stands as a testament to Baidu’s ambitions and its pivotal role in shaping the future of AI in China.

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Featured Image courtesy of DALL-E by ChatGPT

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.

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