Baidu's Ernie Bot Gains 200 Million Users But Faces Stiff Competition From Kimi

Ernie Bot still has a lot of ground to cover if it's to rival OpenAI's ChatGPT.

Cover image via Shantanu Kumar (Pexels) & AFP (New Straits Times)

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Ernie Bot, Baidu's AI chatbot, has garnered over 200 million users

At a conference in Shenzhen on Tuesday, 16 April, Baidu's chief operating officer Robin Li announced that its user base has roughly doubled since the last update in December.

The chatbot was made public by the China-based technology behemoth in September 2023.

Ernie Bot has also swiftly signed up 85,000 enterprise users

In February, Li told analysts that Baidu had started to monetise Ernie, generating income through AI-enhanced improvements to its advertising services and assisting other firms in building their models during the fourth quarter of 2023.

This resulted in revenue of several hundred million yuan, which, if converted to our currency, is roughly RM66 million.

However, Ernie Bot is facing stiff competition from seven other homegrown AI bots

The most notable competitor is Kimi, an AI chatbot developed by Moonshot AI, an Alibaba-backed startup founded a year ago.

According to, a platform that tracks user engagement with online AI services, Ernie Bot received a total of 14.9 million visits across its app and website, while Kimi recorded 12.6 million visits in March this year.

Ernie Bot still has a lot of ground to cover if it's to rival OpenAI's ChatGPT

ChatGPT is currently the world's most popular generative AI service, drawing a whopping 1.86 billion views last month.

To rival ChatGPT, China possibly has to loosen its approval requirements. Unlike other countries, China requires companies to secure approval before launching generative AI services.

To date, seven chatbots have been approved, with Ernie Bot and Kimi being among the list.

That said, things are changing as China has accelerated approvals for AI services in recent months, underscoring AI as a key area of competition with the US in the tech industry.

State media reported last week that 117 large AI models have received approvals to date.

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