Baidu sues Apple, developers over phony Ernie bot apps 2023

Baidu, the Chinese search engine behemoth, has filed lawsuits against “relevant” app developers and Apple Inc due to the availability of counterfeit duplicates of its Ernie bot app in Apple’s app store.

China responded to ChatGPT with the AI-powered Ernie bot last month.

Baidu sues Apple, app developers over fake Ernie bot apps

The company’s Ernie assistant, propelled by artificial intelligence and released last month, has been described as China’s answer to the U.S.-developed chatbot ChatGPT.

Baidu announced that it had filed lawsuits in Beijing Haidian People’s Court against the developers behind the counterfeit Ernie assistant applications and Apple.

“At this time, Ernie does not have an official app,” Baidu stated on its official “Baidu AI” WeChat account late on Friday.

It also published an image of its court filing.

“Until our company’s official announcement, any Ernie apps found in the App Store or other stores are fraudulent,” the message read.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment immediately.

A search conducted by Reuters on Saturday revealed that the Apple App Store contained at least four phony applications bearing the Chinese-language name of the Ernie bot.

Access to the Ernie bot is restricted to individuals who request and obtain access codes. Baidu also warned against individuals selling access credentials in its statement.

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