China's Baidu opens a $145 million AI venture fund.

Baidu Inc. (9988.HK), a leader in Chinese search, announced on Wednesday that it will establish a $1 billion (145 million) venture capital fund to support start-ups specialising in content produced by artificial intelligence technologies.

Baidu, Inc. is a Chinese multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services,

SHANGHAI, May 31  - Chinese search giant Baidu Inc (9988.HK) will set up a venture capital fund of 1 billion yuan ($145 million) to back start-ups focused on content generated by artificial intelligence applications, it said on Wednesday.

The company will also launch a competition for developers to build applications off its ERNIE large language model (LLM) or integrate the model into their existing products, it added.

Chinese tech companies have raced to release their own LLMs following the dramatic success of ChatGPT, the AI-powered chatbot released by Microsft-backed (MSFT.O) OpenAI.

Almost 80 organisations in China have launched their own LLMs since 2020, with releases this year slightly exceeding those of the United States, a report showed this week.

In March, Baidu unveiled Ernie Bot, its own AI-powered LLM. E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (9988.HK) was among the other Chinese companies that followed quickly.

In response to the surge of LLMs, China published draft regulations in April on the use of generative AI.


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