© Reuters. Chairman of the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, Li, and co-founder and CEO of Baidu, Robin Li, attend the opening session of the annual AI developer conference Baidu Create 2019 in Beijing.
By Josh Horwitz and Yilei Sun
SHANGHAI / BEIJING (Reuters) ̵
Li spoke in a speech about artificial intelligence (AI) applications when the young man came to him and spilled liquid over his head and went away.
"What's your problem?" Shouted Li in English.
"There are many difficulties in reaching an AI, but it will not affect Baidu's resolve," Li said quietly to the audience's applause.
Then he continued with the lecture.
The incident occurred at the beginning of Baidu Create 2019, an annual gathering where the company demonstrates its progress in AI.
The identity and motive of the man who poured the water were unknown and he could not be reached for comment.
The company later said that someone had "poured cold water on AI" but it was pushing forward and never change.
Baidu and Li have long been targets of public anger over perceived issues related to searches.
The company faced a major public backlash in 2016 when a Chinese student died after seeking medical treatment advertised on Baidu's search pages.
This year, a journalist's lengthy criticism of the quality of Baidu's search results became viral.
Some commentators made fun of the incident on the Weibo social media platform.
"No matter how much you hate Robin Li, this is a waste of water," wrote a Weibo user.
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