Senior Executive at Baidu Gets Demoted After Sexist Presentation Draws Backlash

A senior executive at Baidu, China’s giant Internet search engine, recently made some regretful comments over the weekend that came with some severe consequences on Monday.

Baidu, the Chinese equivalent of Google, hasn’t been known for its good press lately. Liu Chao, former head of user experience at Baidu, gave a blatantly sexist presentation at an industry conference this past Saturday to international company leaders including the likes of Uber and Microsoft.

Sixth Tone reported that during Liu’s presentation, he said:

“If a girl says to me, ‘The air conditioning in my dorm doesn’t work, and I don’t want to go home,’ what does she mean? I think it means she wants to kiss and have some sex.”

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Liu’s presentation, which was intended to be educational, appalled the majority of its audience. While on stage, Liu also displayed the photos of four female Baidu employees, including one of his wife, on the big screen. He elaborated:

“Many would speculate whether they were recruited by Baidu just because they have pretty faces. It’s not true. They were quite ugly before joining us. Later, after being influenced by us, their face scores have largely improved.”

According to Shanghaiist, Liu’s wife is a product manager at Baidu. The sexist presentation continued on for 18 minutes as those in the audience began to shift uneasily in their seats. One woman allegedly shouted to Liu:

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“It’s too tasteless! You should get off the stage.”

Unsurprisingly, Liu was demoted from his position as head of user experience at the company following his speech on stage. Of course, Liu isn’t the first to face career consequences following regretful weekend decisions.

Last year, a Taco Bell executive lost his job after a video of him assaulting an Uber driver surfaced online. Earlier this year, a young doctor based in Miami, Florida was placed on administrative leave and removed from her clinical duties following her poor weekend misconduct.  

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