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Apple and China's Baidu have not agreed to an AI deal

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Despite previous reports of Apple having made a deal to use Baidu for its AI features in the region, Chinese media sources are now saying that no such deal has been made.

The original reports came via local media in China, with two separate publications reporting the news. Now a short article in China Daily says that these earlier reports are simply not correct.

Apple and Baidu have not agreed on AI cooperation, says the publication, and reports that the companies have made a deal is merely media speculation. China Daily says it has this information from sources familiar with Apple's operations.

Whatever the specific state of any contracts Apple may be making are at present, it's at least likely that the firm will partner with a Chinese one. Doing so would presumably avoid any potential regulatory issues.

As well as being based in China, Baidu has the advantage that its AI software called Ernie Bot has already been approved by local authorities. Baidu's Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration (Ernie) bot is similar in concept to ChatGPT and Google Gemini.

Only users within China would get to use Ernie, or any other Apple/Baidu collaboration. Users elsewhere would see an Apple AI implementation, or perhaps Google Gemini.

Baidu's shares rose 2.55% on the original reports. Neither Baidu nor Apple have commented.