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13 May 2024

Iris Deng, South China Morning Post,

China: Baidu's PR chief leaves company following public backlash over controversial comments endorsing intense work culture

"Baidu’s public relations head steps down after eye-popping remarks on work culture spark controversy in China" 10 May 2024

Baidu’s public relations chief Qu Jing has left the Chinese internet search giant after her comments endorsing an intense workplace culture sparked a public backlash, according to people familiar with the matter and local media reports...Baidu did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

This comes after Qu posted a series of short videos on Douyin, the Chinese sibling of TikTok, in which she said she had no obligation to care about her staff’s well-being, and criticised one of her subordinates for refusing to go on a 50-day business trip during the Covid-19 pandemic...

In another video, Qu said a public relations professional should not expect any time off and should “always be ready to respond” on their phone 24 hours a day. She also said in one clip that she had the power to make sure employees who complained about her “won’t find another job in the industry”...

The remarks stirred outrage against Qu and Baidu on Chinese social media, as more people started speaking out against the gruelling working hours in the tech industry...