Samsung selected Chinese search giant Baidu’s AI chatbot for its new Galaxy S24 flagship series in China, where Google’s add-on mobile services and app store are not available.

Baidu’s Ernie Bot will power Samsung’s Circle to Search function on the Galaxy S24 series, allowing Chinese users to quickly search by underlining text, or drawing a circle on pictures or videos to obtain results.

Google delivers the function outside China.

Samsung revealed Galaxy S24 handsets would be equipped with the latest generative AI capabilities from Google Cloud, with the vendor set to be the first partner to deploy Gemini Pro on Vertex AI, the search giant’s machine learning platform.

In a statement, Baidu VP Chen Zifan explained after it unveiled Ernie bot, it held discussions with Samsung about integrating its AI capabilities on the vendor’s smartphones, with its cloud unit forging a strategic partnership with it.

Baidu-supported AI features on the Galaxy S24 series will include speech-to-text translation and the ability to summarise meetings, articles and other content, he stated.

Google’s generative AI is not allowed in China, requiring Samsung to use a local bot. 

In 2023, Baidu co-founder and CEO Robin Li claimed the latest version of its generative AI model, Ernie 4.0, matched the sophistication and capabilities of OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4.