Hong Kong-listed shares of Baidu rebounded after plunging by 6.36% on Friday, when its ChatGPT rival, Ernie Bot, failed to impress.
Chinese search engine giant’s presentation on Thursday last week was criticized by viewers for not having a live demonstration or public launch, with many comparing it unfavourably to the launch of the U.S. research lab OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November, which was free to use and showcased its capabilities.
Immediately after the launch of Ernie, the share price of Baidu fell to $120.1, which opened at $131.3 and closed at $125.1.
What exactly is ERNIE Bot? 👀⬇️ pic.twitter.com/kdUxsNiyTe
— Baidu Inc. (@Baidu_Inc) March 17, 2023
Later in the day, a small number of users who received invitation codes to try out Ernie began posting and livestreaming tests of the Chinese chatbot, comparing it side-by-side with Microsoft’s Bing, which is also powered by ChatGPT technology.
After getting positive reviews from analysts, its price surged by 13.76% on Friday, according to TradingView.
At the time of writing, it is currently being traded for $145.5, which is up 2.25% in the daily time frame.
A user shared on the social media platform Weibo that Ernie accurately answered a question about the status of Hong Kong philosopher Zhang Jinqing.
“The response was OK,” according to the user.
Tech blogger Chapingjun, who has over 2.4 million followers on Weibo, stated in a post that “There is a definite gap between Ernie bot and Bing, but it is not insanely big, in certain questions (Ernie) even performed better than Bing.”
Despite the initial disappointment after the launch, analysts noted that the Chinese search engine giant is still in the best position to develop China’s most daunting competitor to ChatGPT.
“The market’s demand for the industrial application of general large-scale models is rapidly stimulated, and (Baidu) is expected to rely on historical accumulation and first-mover advantages to quickly acquire users and data,” said CITIC Securities in a research note on Friday.
Over 90,000 enterprises want API access
.@Baidu_Inc soared over 14% today, after diving 6.4% yesterday following the release of the Chinese internet giant's #ChatGPT-like Ernie Bot. The chatbot, which boasts multimodal content generation, is already being used by 650 firms and 75,000 companies have applied to test it. pic.twitter.com/b534iKSHbD
— Yicai 第一财经 (@yicaichina) March 17, 2023
Baidu, also known as “Chinese Google”, is getting a huge amount of requests regarding access to its API.
“Within two days following the Ernie Bot announcement, over 90,000 enterprises have requested API access. Additionally, over 600,000 individuals have signed up for testing on the first day,” said the company.
Last week, when Baidu launched Ernie Bot, two other significant events were unfolded by tech giants. OpenAI, the developer of ChatGPT, announced the release of its latest AI model, GPT-4, on Wednesday. Microsoft also launched Copilot, an Office suite that utilizes the power of GPT-4, just a few hours after Baidu’s Ernie unveiling.
Ernie Bot can be applied to a variety of scenarios and applications, including search, AI cloud, and autonomous driving, Robin Li, founder of Baidu, said in his speech on Thursday.
“As soon as we put Ernie Bot into use, we will establish a mechanism where real-world user feedback, developer calls, and model iterations work in synergy to enhance the model more effectively and efficiently,” explained Li.