Baidu introduced a ChatGPT-style app in March, initially planning to build it into its core search engine.

Baidu plans to launch an artificial intelligence chatbot service similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a person familiar with the matter has revealed.

China’s largest search company introduced a ChatGPT-style app in March and plans to initially embed it into its core search service, said one person who requested anonymity when discussing privacy. This yet-to-be-named tool allows for interactive search results, just like the popular OpenAI platform.

The company’s stock has risen 5.8% since the Bloomberg report, marking its biggest intraday gain in nearly four weeks.

Baidu has invested billions of dollars in artificial intelligence research as part of a multi-year effort to transition from online marketing to deep technology. His Ernie system, a large-scale machine learning model trained on data over many years, will be the basis for future ChatGPT-like tools, sources said. A Baidu spokeswoman declined to comment.

OpenAI’s artificial intelligence tool, ChatGPT, has shined a light on the internet since its public disclosure in November, amassing over a million users in just a few days and sparking debate about AI’s role in schools, offices, and homes. Companies including Microsoft Corp. are investing billions of dollars to try and develop real apps, while others are using fundraising advertising.

The number more than doubled this month after BuzzFeed Inc. announced plans to include ChatGPT in its content. Baidu, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Tencent Holdings Ltd., and ByteDance Ltd. Controls most of the Internet in China. The search company is trying to revive growth in the mobile era after falling far behind its larger rivals in areas such as mobile advertising, video, and social media.

Besides AI research, the current search giant is also developing self-driving technology. According to a transcript seen by Bloomberg News, Baidu CEO Robin Li cited ChatGPT as an example of how a tech giant could lead in an internal conversation last December.

I’m so glad that the technology we are pondering every day can attract so many people’s attention. That’s not easy,” he said. He warned that commercializing generative AI by making it “a product everyone needs” could be challenging.