Baidu's PR boss, who threatened to destroy workers' careers, has reportedly left the company

Baidu's PR boss, who threatened to destroy workers' careers, has reportedly left the company
  • Baidu's public relations lead just made a major PR blunder.

  • Qu Jing, executive at the Chinese firm, posted several videos online encouraging extreme work.

  • In one video, she claimed she could destroy the careers of employees who failed to comply.

The public relations lead at Baidu has reportedly left the Chinese internet giant, according to state media, just days after posting videos online ripping into staff who disagreed with her extreme work expectations.

Qu Jing, a senior executive at the Beijing-based firm, recently posted a number of videos to Douyin, China's version of TikTok, in which she set out the brutally tough working conditions that she expected of her staff.

In one video, reported by the FT, the Baidu PR executive said she expected employees to be prepared to travel for 50 consecutive days of business with her. She also suggested she had no regard for their wellbeing, claiming that she was not their mother. "I only care about results," she said.


Qu's message to those who disagreed with her position was more threatening: "I can make you jobless in this industry," the FT reported.

The posts triggered a flurry of criticism on Chinese social media, and brought fresh scrutiny to the country's work culture having gained notoriety in recent years for allowing difficult — and often illegal practices — to take hold.

One user on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, wrote that "employees will never feel at home at a company that doesn't have even a little bit of warmth," according to the FT.

In a post on WeChat, Baidu PR lead Qu acknowledged the criticism leveled at her, writing: "I deeply reflect on and humbly accept them."

The saga has proven to be detrimental for Qu, after it emerged on Thursday that she had left the company, according to a report by Chinese publication the Economic Review, first cited by CNN.

Baidu did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Work-life balance has been a contentious issue in China in recent years, with the "996" system — once endorsed by Alibaba founder Jack Ma — facing a regulatory clampdown in 2021. The system expected workers to put in toil from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week.

Elon Musk, who advocated for "hardcore" work following his takeover of Twitter, has recently been reported to have built close ties with Baidu through his electric vehicle company, Tesla.

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