Baidu executive tells workers ‘I’m not your mom,’ loses job

A Chinese tech executive reportedly has been fired after igniting a public relations crisis over a series of viral videos revealing her dictatorial management style.

Qu Jing, a vice president at Chinese search giant Baidu, was seen shouting at a colleague struggling with a recent breakup: “I’m not your mother-in-law. I’m not your mom. I only care about your results,” The Wall Street Journal earlier reported.

In other videos — most of them posted on TikTok’s sister platform in China, Douyin — Qu bashed a subordinate for not wanting to work weekends, and dismissed a complaint that her late-night work messages kept up one of her employee’s crying children.

Qu Jing, a vice president at Baidu, was fired after a series of viral social media videos showed her bashing a subordinate for not wanting to work weekends. Baidu

“Why should it be my business that your child was crying?” she said in another highly circulated clip seen by The Journal.

In yet another bizarre video posted to X, Qu — who previously headed public relations for fellow Chinese tech giant Huawei — was seen beating a paper cutout of a person with a white piece of rope.

The stick figure donned the letters “SCMP” below drawings of knives, allegedly representing the China Morning Post — which had posted a piece of negative news about the exec, according to the account that posted the footage, Asia Tech.

As the footage went viral and Qu faced a tide of backlash, she replaced the videos on her own Douyin account with an apology video saying she had tried to do a good job, but lacked patience and therefore failed to adopt “a proper approach” at managing others, according to The Journal.

Baidu’s chief executive Robin Li has reportedly been furious at Qu since Thursday, when public outrage skyrocketed, The Journal reported.

He has since fired Qu.

Qu’s comments in the workplace were “inappropriate and didn’t represent and reflect the real culture and values of Baidu,” people familiar with the matter told The Journal, noting that the company’s management has since agreed to review its corporate culture.

In a statement released Friday, Baidu’s head of human resources admitted that the firm has its internal problems — including pressures for staffers to work overtime — but insisted that it would continue bettering itself.

In one video posted to X, Qu was seen beating a paper cutout of a person with a white piece of rope while in the office. Asia Tech/X
The cutout, according to the X post, donned the letters “SCMP” in reference to the China Morning Post, which had posted a piece of negative news about Qu. Asia Tech/X

A lot of the backlash Qu received came from Gen Z workers in China who are increasingly moving away from the nation’s hard-charging workplace culture.

In 2019, for example, Alibaba co-founder endorsed a “996” trend coined by Chinese tech workers, meaning people work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week.

Ma called the concept a “huge blessing,” but younger employees entering the workforce are no longer having it.

“The capitalists don’t even bother to pretend now,” wrote one user of Chinese social-media platform Weibo in a response to Qu’s videos, according to The Journal. “They just handed down their bloody rules to the public like a rapacious aggressor.”

Qu has worked at Baidu since 2021. Before taking the executive role at the Chinese company, she held a leadership role at fellow tech giant Huawei. AFP via Getty Images

Even the Communist Party-controlled Youth Daily called the incident an example of “wolf culture,” and was the byproduct of the country’s market economy in a Thursday editorial reviewed by The Journal.

The backlash against Qu, according to the state media platform, “was a counterattack on wolf culture by human nature.”

As Baidu struggled from the negative press, Baidu’s shares dropped by more than 6% in the US and 3% in Hong Kong this week.

Representatives for Baidu did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

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