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July 4, 2019

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Baidu boss drenched on stage

A MAN ran onto a stage and poured water over the head of Baidu CEO Robin Li as the founder of China’s dominant search engine spoke at a company-sponsored event on artificial intelligence yesterday.

Baidu has faced great criticism in China in recent years after a medical advertising scandal and discontent with changes to its search result listings that favor its own content.

Li was telling the audience about Baidu’s autonomous car development as he opened the two-day tech conference, when the man sauntered up on stage and dumped a bottle of water on his head.

It appeared to catch Li off guard and he stood stunned and unmoved for a second as the water poured down.

“What’s your problem?” Li asked in English to the individual as he walked off stage.

The incident, which lasted only a few seconds, initially seemed to be part of the presentation until event security intervened to cart off the man.

“Everyone can see that the path of advancing AI will still encounter all types of things we don’t expect,” said Li, with a wet face and drenched white shirt, while calmly resuming his presentation to applause.

Baidu issued a statement on the incident that echoed Li’s on-stage reaction, but it did not give any details about the individual or what happened to him afterward.



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