Baidu executive resigns due to economic problems: media reports

11/07/16

Permalink 10:43:18 am, by dacare, 427 words, 160 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Baidu executive resigns due to economic problems: media reports

Baidu Inc Vice President Li Ming-yuan resigned after he was reportedly accused of "economic corruption," said media reports.

The domestic Internet titan sent its employees a public letter via e-mail on Friday night, confirming "three blames" about Li.

First, it said, when Li participated in one of Baidu's acquisition projects, he had a "private economic exchange" worth an enormous amount, with the head of the company being taken over, the Beijing Youth Daily reported Sunday.

Second, within Li's business management scope, he had huge private economic exchanges with some partners in the game sector, the report said.

Also, Li didn't inform Baidu when other companies he held stakes had business links with Baidu.

"Li is a senior employee of Baidu and has made great contributions to the company … but nothing can be accomplished without norms and those who violate Baidu's rules will be strictly dealt with," the company was quoted as saying in the letter.

Li started his career in Baidu as an intern in 2004 and became the youngest vice president of the company nine years later in 2013 when he was 29.

Media speculated that Li was possibly involved in Baidu's acquisition of mobile application store 91 Wireless in 2013 and had since started to have economic exchanges with the latter.

After the acquisition, Li was assigned to be in charge of the Baidu mobile application distribution team, said media reports.

"The fact is that Li broke the company's rules, but the violations are not so serious that he will not be handed over to judicial organs," Li Chengdong, a Beijing-based independent analyst, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Currently, there is no firm evidence of which acquisition cases should be designated as those accounting for Li's private economic exchanges, said Li, the analyst.

Lots of netizens expressed doubts about the term "economic exchanges" mentioned in Baidu's letter and guessed that it meant Li was involved in corruption.

"I am not involved in corruption … do not underestimate Baidu's determination to tackle corruption. No matter who is involved in corruption, the company will call the police and discharge him and will never tolerate the mistake. No one can be an exception because this is the rule and the law, and it cannot be changed by someone's preference," Li was quoted as saying in his WeChat account on Saturday.

Li also said that the "economic exchanges" were normal economic exchanges and were not improper.

This kind of rule-breaking is often seen in Internet companies, noted Li, the independent analyst. "The vice president might have become a victim of political struggles in Baidu."

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