By Tracy Qu

The number of users of Baidu's Ernie Bot, China's most popular ChatGPT-style chatbot, has doubled in recent months to 200 million, according to the company.

Robin Li, chief executive of the Beijing-based internet giant, said at a conference Tuesday that the company's Chinese-language chatbot now has 200 million users and more than 85,000 enterprise clients.

He added that users were querying the chatbot 200 million times every day, according to a transcript of his remarks.

Baidu said in December that its chatbot had 100 million users, and in February said the technology had begun to contribute to Baidu's top line.

Ernie Bot, which was launched in March 2023 and released publicly last August, is competing with a host of generative AI models in China, including Alibaba Group's Tongyi Qianwen, Tencent's Hunyuan and Alibaba-backed Moonshot AI's Kimi.

Beijing has approved more than 40 generative AI models, including Baidu's Ernie Bot, since the release of rules last year requiring models to be vetted by Chinese regulators. No models made by foreign developers have been approved yet.

The Wall Street Journal last month reported that Apple had held preliminary talks with Baidu about using Ernie Bot in its devices in China, citing people familiar with the matter.

Baidu shares closed 2.7% lower at 94.15 Hong Kong dollars (US$12.03) on Tuesday, slightly better than a 3.0% drop in Hong Kong's benchmark tech index.

Write to Tracy Qu at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-16-24 0434ET