A speech by the chief executive of the Chinese search engine company Baidu in Beijing has resulted in a cold shower. Ten minutes after Robin Li started his speech at a convention, a man climbed the stage and emptied a bottle of water over the billionaire’s head.
Li, who is seen as a major tech pioneer in China, reacted in astonishment. “What is your problem?” Was the man’s only question. Half a minute later, he continued his speech, which was about artificial intelligence (AI). “As you can see, the road to AI is full of unexpected turns,” said the businessman. “But our determination remains, we keep going. We strongly believe that AI will change everyone’s life.”
According to Chinese media, security guards have taken the water thrower whose identity is not yet known. Given its access pass, it seems to be a visitor to the conference. Nothing is yet known about his motive.
Baidu was in the news a few years ago after a student died after cancer therapy for which the search engine advertising. The technology company, which is suffering from the slowing growth of the Chinese economy, reported its first quarterly loss since 2005 in May.