Samsung has partnered with Baidu, one of the major artificial intelligence (AI) players in China, in a bid to win over Chinese consumers.

Baidu AI’s Ernie large language model (LLM) is seen as a straight swap for global partner Google Gemini AI on the Galaxy S24 series.

Google services are currently unavailable in the country and this collaboration, announced last week, was seen as the South Korean electronics titan’s best bet to have a wider share of the world’s largest smartphone market.

Microsoft is promoting Bing Chat in China, but no other U.S.-developed AI such as ChatGPT or Google Bard is officially available in mainland China or Hong Kong.

AI is at the heart of technological development in China as 40 LMMs were approved by the state in the second half of 2023, as we reported late last month.

Huawei to Oppo and Vivo are all domestic vendors in mainland China and are building their versions of AI chatbots and LLMs. This is something Samsung is keen to get ahead of with this partnership with Baidu.

What is Baidu’s Ernie LLM?

Ernie Bot was unveiled at Baidu World 2023 by co-founder and CEO Robin Li Yanhon, becoming the first significant generative AI released from the Chinese tech sector.

“Ernie Bot has completed a series of significant updates in its abilities of understanding, prompting, reasoning and memorizing,” Li said. “Its generalized abilities are by no means inferior compared to GPT-4.”

As reported via Reuters in December last year, Wang Haifeng, Chief Technology Officer for Baidu said that Ernie had reached over 100 million users since its release in August of 2023.

Baidu has also made efforts to expand its offerings in collaboration with the Chinese state-backed Beijing Academy of Quantum Information Sciences (BAQIS). The search giant offered to donate a quantum computing lab, which is integral to developing more AI tools and technology.

China’s AI race

The U.S. has made significant efforts to stop or at least limit China’s access to advanced processors used for AI and high-performance computing (HPC) applications across the past year.

These attempts to stunt the development of AI’s based in China is down to tensions and White House security concerns, which had seen some validation in a recent landmark chip bust to the tune of $11.6 million last month.

Featured image: Omar Markhieh/Pexels

Brian-Damien Morgan

Freelance Journalist

Brian-Damien Morganis an award-winning journalist and features writer. He was lucky enough to work in the print sector for many UK newspapers before embarking on a successful career as a digital broadcaster and specialist. His work has spanned the public and private media sectors of the United Kingdom for almost two decades. Since 2007, Brian has continued to add to a long list of publications and institutions, most notably as Editor of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, winning multiple awards for his writing and digital broadcasting efforts. Brian would then go on to be integral to the Legacy 2014, Media and Sport Directorate of the Scottish Government. Working with ministers to enact change through sport with institutions like the Homeless World Cup. He would then lend his skills to multiple private sector institutions. Brian would win national acclaim helping his country deliver judicial education and communications during the pandemic-era. Earning a writ of personal distinction from the Lord President of Scotland for his efforts as the Head of Communications and Digital for the Judicial Office for Scotland. Brian has returned back to the thing he loves most, writing and commenting on developments across technology, gaming and legal topics, as well as any-and-all things sport related.