Baidu sues Apple, other app developers over counterfeit copies of Ernie Bot app

Chinese search engine giant Baidu has filed a lawsuit against “relevant” app developers and Apple over counterfeit copies of its Ernie bot app available on Apple’s App Store.

Company’s artificial intelligence operated ernie the botwhich was launched last month is seen as China’s closest answer to US-developed chatbots chatgpt,

Baidu said it had filed a lawsuit in the Beijing Haidian People’s Court against the developers behind its Ernie bot and Apple Co.’s fake applications.

“Currently, Ernie does not have an official app,” baidu said in a statement posted on its official “Baidu AI” WeChat account late Friday.

It also posted a picture of its court filing.

“Until the official announcement of our company, any Ernie app you see app Store or other stores are fake,” it said.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Reuters search on Saturday found that at least four apps with the Chinese-language name of Ernie Bot are still in Apple’s App Store, all of which are fakes.

Ernie Bot is only available to users who apply for and receive an access code. In its statement, Baidu also warned against people selling access codes.

baidu Unveiled Its artificial intelligence-powered chatbot, known as Ernie Bot, was launched in March this year. Ernie stands for “Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration”. Backed by Microsoft, the popularity of ChatGPT has created a frenzied rush among Chinese tech giants and startups alike to develop a rival.

Ernie Bot was initially opened only to a select group of users with an invitation code, and companies can apply to embed the bot in their products through Baidu’s cloud platform.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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