Stage intruder pours water on CEO of ‘China’s Google’ Baidu in brazen stunt (VIDEO)
Robin Li Yanhong, co-founder and CEO of Baidu, China's dominant web search giant with over 70 percent of the market, was addressing a conference on artificial intelligence and autonomous driving in Beijing on Wednesday when a man jumped on stage and upended a water bottle on the unsuspecting tech entrepreneur.
While the stunt caught Li by surprise, he quickly regained composure, asking the intruder: “What’s your problem?” as he attempted to escape.
Li never received an answer, as the other man was swiftly rounded up by security. It is presumed that the offender was a delegate at a conference, since he had a badge dangling around his neck.
The driving force behind the show-stealing stunt remains a mystery. Baidu said that it has launched an investigation into the attack, the South China Morning Post reports.
Li kept remarkably composed all the way through the incident, joking about the whole experience as soon as he resumed his briefly interrupted speech.
“As you can see, there will be problems along the way when it comes to AI, but it will change everybody’s lives,” he reportedly said in Chinese to a round of applause from the public.Also on rt.com Huawei teams up with automakers to launch self-driving cars – report
So far, one can only speculate as to what the man’s motivation was. Baidu, although an undisputed leader on China's internal search engine market after Google partially pulled out in 2011, has been going through a rough patch. Its stock has been sliding due to stunted growth. In May, the company, frequently referred to as the 'Google of China,' reported its first quarterly loss in 14 years.
The company faces increased competition from its old rivals such as Alibaba and Tencent, as well as emerging tech start-ups and news and video apps. In a bid to diversify its profile, Baidu has immersed itself in promising new fields, launching the ‘Apollo‘ self-driving car project back in 2017.
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