Chinese search engine giant Baidu saw a 15.7% rebound in its Hong Kong-listed stocks on Friday after users shared their experiences testing the Ernie chatbot, Reuters reported.
This followed a lackluster launch presentation on Thursday, which was criticized for not including a live demonstration or public launch.
However, a few users who received invite codes to test out the chatbot later posted positive reviews and made comparisons between Ernie and its US counterparts like Microsoft’s Bing.
Analysts said that despite the muted response from the initial showcase, Baidu is still best positioned to build China’s strongest rival to US-based OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
Other Chinese firms that have joined the AI race include Tencent, Alibaba, and ByteDance.
Baidu, Inc. is a Chinese multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services, products, and artificial intelligence (AI), headquartered in Beijing's Haidian District. It is one of the largest AI and Internet companies in the world.
Baidu's Hong Kong shares tumbled as much as 10% while its CEO Robin Li spoke and eventually closed 6.4% lower, shaving over $3 billion off the Chinese search engine giant's market valuation.
"It seems like the presentation was more of a monologue and scripted rather than an interactive session that people were looking for. There was no soft launch date either which likely led to negative sentiments," said Kai Wang, an analyst from Morningstar.