China-based Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) is one of the top-trending tickers on social media, and BIDU stock is jumping 11% in early trading. The shares are rallying after the company confirmed prior reports that it will launch an AI-powered bot next month.
More About Baidu’s Bot
Utilizing similar technology to ChatGPT, the bot will be both a standalone application and incorporated directly into Baidu’s search engine.
In English, Baidu’s system will be called “Ernie bot.”
ChatGPT, in which Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has invested, has become very widely used and has received a great deal of publicity. Ernie is reportedly short for “Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration.”
Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google is also investing in AI search technology called Bard A.I.
BlackRock’s Investment in BIDU Stock
On Feb. 1, Blackrock (NYSE:BLK), a huge asset manager, disclosed via a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that it had boosted its stake in BIDU to 6.6% in Q4 from 3.5% in Q3. BLK manages about $10 trillion of funds.
Baidu’s Other Opportunities
In a Feb. 1 column, I noted that BIDU reportedly intended to release an AI chatbot product and predicted that “Baidu’s offering could very well become very popular in China.”
The article also noted that BIDU is reportedly going to soon start offering robotaxi service in Beijing and widening its current robotaxi service in another Chinese city, Wuhan.
I added: “In the latter city, BIDU is looking to have 200 robotaxis operational by the end of this year. It sounds like robotaxis are getting close to moving the needle financially for Baidu.”
Finally, BIDU should be boosted by surging demand for cloud computing and digital ads in China, I hypothesized.
On the date of publication, Larry Ramer did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.