Alibaba and Baidu cut price of LLMs used to power generative AI products in China

Tech giants Alibaba and Baidu have reduced prices of large-language models (LLMs) used to power generative artificial intelligence products in China, Reuters news report said.
Baidu Ernie botAlibaba’s cloud unit announced price cuts of up to 97 percent on a range of its Tongyi Qwen LLMs. Its Qwen-Long model will be priced at 0.0005 yuan per 1,000 tokens – or units of data processed by the LLM – after the price cut, down from 0.02 yuan per 1,000 tokens.

Baidu later announced that its Ernie Speed and Ernie Lite models would be free for all business users.

Many Chinese cloud vendors have relied on AI chatbot services to boost sales, after China saw a wave of investment in large language models in response to the hit debut of U.S.-based OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022.

Baidu released its Ernie Lite and Ernie Speed in March under a paid subscription model for corporate customers.

Last week, Bytedance announced the main model of its Doubao LLMs would be priced 99.3 percent lower than the industry average for business users.

Chinese LLM developers have focused on charging businesses as a way to monetize their investments in LLMs.

Some have also begun targeting individual users. Chinese startup Moonshot recently launched a tipping feature, where business and individual users can pay to prioritize their use of its chatbot services.

Baidu was the first company in China to offer its LLM products to paying consumers, charging 59 yuan per month for those looking to use its most advanced Ernie 4 model, the report said.

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