Shares of billionaire Robin Li’s Baidu, which tumbled 6.4% on Thursday on disappointment over the launch of its ChatGPT-like service, surged almost 14% Friday as some analysts who tried Ernie Bot gave favourable reviews.

Hong Kong-listed Baidu rose HK$17.10 to close at HK$142.20.

The source of Thursday’s market reaction was that the highly-anticipated launch of the service involved a series of pre-recorded videos instead of any real-time performance.


On Friday, analysts from Citigroup said in a research note that while Ernie Bot wasn’t perfect, it was able to answer the majority of complicated or absurd questions put forward. They also described Thursday’s share price drop as an overreaction from the market.

Baidu in February confirmed its plan to roll out the ChatGPT-like service, becoming the first in China to make available a rival to the artificial intelligence-powered chatbot developed by San Francisco-based OpenAI. The Baidu has said that Ernie Bot excels at areas including business writing and understanding the Chinese language.

Thursday’s launch of Ernie Bot came just two days after Microsoft-backed OpenAI unveiled ChatGPT-4. The latest version of the highly popular AI chatbot features some more powerful functions, such as processing not just text but also images.


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