Baidu is suing app developer Apple over fake Ernie bot apps

SHANGHAI, April 8 (Reuters) – Chinese search giant Baidu (9888.HK) has filed lawsuits against “relevant” app developers and Apple Inc (AAPL.O) over fake copies of its Ernie bot app published on the App Store are available from Apple.

The company’s artificial intelligence-based Ernie bot, launched last month, has been touted as China’s closest answer to US-developed chatbot ChatGPT.

Baidu said it has filed lawsuits in Beijing’s Haidian People’s Court against the developers behind the fake applications of its Ernie bot and the Apple company.

“Currently, Ernie doesn’t have an official app,” Baidu said late Friday in a statement posted to its official WeChat account, Baidu AI.

It also released a photo of its court record.

“Until our company officially announces it, every Ernie app you see on the App Store or other stores is fake,” it said.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Reuters search on Saturday revealed that there are still at least four apps in Apple’s App Store with the Ernie bot’s Chinese-language name, all of them fake.

The Ernie Bot is only available to users who request and receive access codes. In its statement, Baidu also warned against selling passcodes.

Reporting by Jason Xue and Brenda Goh; Edited by Robert Birsel

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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