Baidu sues Apple and other app developers for fake copies of Ernie Bot app
Chinese search engine giant Baidu has sued “relevant” app developers and Apple over fake copies of its Ernie bot app available on Apple’s App Store.
The company’s AI-powered Ernie bot, launched last month, has been touted as China’s closest answer to the US-developed ChatGPT chatbot.
Baidu said it filed lawsuits in the Beijing Haidian People’s Court against the developers behind the infringing apps of its bot Ernie and the Apple company.
“At present, Ernie does not have an official app,” Baidu said in a statement posted Friday evening on its official “Baidu AI” WeChat account.
He also posted a photo of his court filing.
“Until our company’s official announcement, all Ernie apps you see on the App Store or other stores are fake,” he said.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A Reuters search on Saturday found that there were still at least four apps bearing the Chinese name of the Ernie bot, all fake, in Apple’s App Store.
The Ernie bot is only available to users who request and receive access codes. In its statement, Baidu also warned against people selling access codes.
Baidu unveiled its AI-based chatbot known as Ernie Bot in March this year. Ernie is short for “Enhanced Representation Through Knowledge Integration”. The popularity of Microsoft-backed ChatGPT has sparked a frenzied scramble among Chinese tech giants and startups to develop a rival.
Ernie Bot was initially only open to a group of users with invite codes, and companies can apply to integrate the bot into their products through Baidu’s cloud platform.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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