Baidu Sues Apple and App Developers Over Fake Ernie Bot Apps
- Chinese tech giant Baidu is suing Apple and some app developers.
- Counterfeit Ernie bot apps have made their way into the Apple App Store.
- Ernie is being compared to China’s version of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
Baidu, the Chinese search engine giant, has filed lawsuits against Apple Inc. and certain app developers over counterfeit versions of its recently launched Ernie bot app, which are available on Apple’s App Store, reports Reuters.
The AI-powered Ernie bot, introduced last month, is considered China’s closest counterpart to the U.S.-developed chatbot ChatGPT.
In a statement released late on Friday via its official “Baidu AI” WeChat account, the company announced that it had lodged lawsuits in Beijing Haidian People’s Court against the developers responsible for the fake Ernie bot applications and Apple.
Baidu emphasized that, “At present, Ernie does not have any official app,” and warned users that, “Until our company’s official announcement, any Ernie app you see from App Store or other stores are fake.”
Apple has not yet responded to requests for comment on the matter. As of Saturday, a Reuters search revealed that at least four counterfeit apps bearing the Chinese-language name of the Ernie bot were still available on Apple’s App Store.
Currently, the Ernie bot can only be accessed by users who apply for and receive access codes. In its statement, Baidu also cautioned against individuals attempting to sell these access codes.
Following the announcement of the ERNIE Bot, Baidu received an overwhelming response, with over 75,000 enterprise customers applying for API call testing and more than 6,000 inquiries for collaboration with Baidu AI Cloud. Last month, 1 million of their potential users are on the waitlist to try its ERNIE chatbot.
Alibaba, another tech giant in China, is also developing its own AI-powered chatbot.