During a press event in Beijing organized by the US start-up accelerator Y Combinator on August 15th, Qi Lu, former Baidu executive made an unexpected appearance. He declared that the accelerator will enter China and he will lead Y Combinator China as the CEO and founder. He will also be the Chairman of the new global Y Combinator research institution.
During the conference, the former chief operating officer at Baidu explained how he has participated in the research and development of top products, which has allowed him to witness the changes brought by technology. He described the basis of its philosophy: contribute to science and technology, seize the opportunities brought by technology and always keep studying and learning. According to him, artificial intelligence will heavily influence societies, and China is a place full of opportunities in this field. “The tech industry demands a long-term commitment and at the same time, it requires to seize the new opportunities, new systems and the organic integration of human resources and capital”, he declared.
After that, he declared that Y Combinator will formally enter China. The accelerator will establish local work groups to provide new opportunities to Chinese entrepreneurs. He also announced that he will become the chairman of the new global research institute that Y Combinator will found in Seattle.
Qi Lu left its job at Baidu on May 18th 2018. According to Baidu, Qi Lu left for personal and family reasons. Since then, there have been rumors in the Chinese media about his plans and whereabouts. When the new e-commerce behemoth Pinduoduo became listed in the US in late July, it was reported that Qi Lu had been appointed as one of Pinduoduo’s independent board members and the chairman of its remuneration committee.
Before working for Baidu, Qi Lu was a manager at Yahoo. He left in 2008 and later was recruited by Microsoft, where he became global executive vice president. Qi Lu was once the Chinese with the highest position in a Silicon Valley giant.