Baidu's shares rebound as users test Ernie bot

STORY: Baidu's Hong Kong-listed shares jumped over 15% on Friday (March).

It comes a day after the stock price dropped sharply.

On Thursday (March 16) investors were disappointed by the launch of Ernie - an AI chatbot which is supposed to be the Chinese company's answer to Microsoft's ChatGPT.

They criticised Baidu for not having a live demonstration or a public launch.

But on Friday (March 17), the few users who could get hold of Ernie reported relatively positive experiences with the bot.

Some did livestreams of their interactions with the chatbot, and side-by-side comparisons with U.S. competitors.

A user on Chinese social media site Weibo said Ernie correctly answered a question about the status of a philosopher.

The user said the response was 'ok'.

One added there was a 'definite gap' between Ernie and Microsoft search engine Bing, which is powered by ChatGPT, but that the divide wasn't too big.

Analysts also said the disappointment about Thursday's presentation should have calmed as investors came to realise Baidu was still China's strongest rival to ChatGPT.