Baidu’s vice president to take over the company’s smart speaker spin-off · TechNode

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Baidu on Saturday appointed its chief information officer Li Ying to lead the company’s AI speaker subsidiary, Xiaodu Technology, after the sudden resignation of former chief executive Jing Kun.

Why it matters: As the Vice President of Baidu, Li’s taking over as the top executive of Xiaodu may signify the strengthening of the company’s ERNIE Bot support for various artificial intelligence product lines under Xiaodu, with the tech giant betting big on its subsidiary’s potential for transformation in the AI field.

Details: Officially launched in 2015 as a smart life business group under Baidu, Xiaodu was spun off from the search giant in 2020.

Context: In May, Xiaodu teased its first smartphone, Qinghe, which is intended as a child-focused smartphone and features English-speaking and location tracking functions. Although the independent Baidu subsidiary stated on its official WeChat public account in February that Xiaodu-created devices would integrate all the capabilities of ERNIE Bot, Qinghe ultimately utilized “a large AI model for studying” developed by the company itself.

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