June 2, 2023

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

Baidu is suing Apple and app developers over fake Ernie Bot apps

Chinese search engine giant Baidu (9888.HK) has filed lawsuits against the “relevant” app developers and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) over fake versions of the Ernie bot app available in the Apple App Store.

The AI-powered Ernie bot, launched last month, has been touted as China’s closest answer to the US-developed ChatGPT chatbot.

Baidu said it had filed lawsuits in Beijing’s Haidian People’s Court against the developers behind its fake Bot Earnie and Apple Inc.

“Currently, Ernie has no official app,” Baidu said in a statement posted late Friday on its official “Baidu AI” WeChat account.

She also published a photo of her file before the court.

“Until our company’s official announcement, any Ernie app you see from the App Store or other stores is fake,” the company said.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reuters research on Saturday found that there are still at least four apps with the name Ernie Bot in Chinese, all fake, in Apple’s App Store.

The Ernie bot is only available to users who apply for and receive access tokens. In its statement, Baidu also warned against people selling access tokens.

(Reporting by Jason Zeu and Brenda Goh) Editing by Robert Purcell

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