Search giant Baidu has filed lawsuits against “participating” application developers and Apple itself over the distribution of software products on the App Store marketplace that allegedly provide access to the functionality of chatbot Ernie Bot, developed by a Chinese company.
Ernie’s AI bot, unveiled last month, is said to be China’s most advanced American answer to ChatGPT. According to Baidu, the lawsuit will be examined by one of the courts in Beijing. Both developers of “fake” applications and Apple itself will be held accountable.
Ernie has no official mobile software, Baidu said on super app WeChat’s Baidu AI channel. At the same time, a photo of the lawsuit was released. According to representatives of the AI bot developer, before the official announcement, all Ernie applications released on the App Store or other software marketplaces are fake. Apple itself does not comment on the situation. A study by Reuters reporters revealed that the App Store hosts at least four apps with Chinese names that correspond to Ernie Bot. All of them are fake.
The Chinese developer emphasizes that the new bot is only available to users who have applied and received an access code. Baidu warned against buying such codes illegally.
The company introduced the AI bot Ernie in March. The popularity of Microsoft-powered ChatGPT has forced many tech giants to quickly complete the development and release of competing products.
Access to Ernie Bot is currently only available to a group of users with invite codes. Businesses can apply to integrate the bot into their products by contacting Baidu cloud platform representatives.