Apple reportedly conducted preliminary discussions with Baidu about using the Chinese search giant’s generative AI (GenAI) technology on its devices, a development coming a matter of days after Bloomberg linked the US company to a move involving Google’s Gemini.

The Wall Street Journal reported Apple may be seeking a GenAI partner in China to navigate regulatory hurdles, adding the iPhone maker is exploring external partnerships to accelerate its use of the technology.

Apple also held talks with Microsoft-backed OpenAI about a similar arrangement.

On a recent earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the tech giant continues to “spend a tremendous amount of time and effort” on GenAI.

Reuters reported Cook later told shareholders Apple planned to disclose its GenAI plans later this year.

Bloomberg previously reported Apple plans to use AI to improve the ability to search through data stored on devices.

In January, rival Samsung agreed to use Baidu’s AI chatbot for its new Galaxy S24 flagship series within China.

Gartner predicts the number of smartphones equipped with GenAI capabilities to grow from nearly none in 2023 to 240 million units this year.