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Baidu chief exec sends a warning to employees that ‘winter is coming’



“Winter is coming” according to the chief exec of China’s largest search engine, Baidu.

CEO Robin Li Yanhong delivered the warning to Baidu employees in a first-of-the-year letter on Tuesday, as reported by The South China Morning Post.

The warning comes as China’s economy has seen its slowest growth in decades and trade wars with the US have caused instability in the tech industry, according to the report.

Economic restructuring is “as cold and real as winter to every company,” Li wrote.

Still, the chief exec reportedly remains hopeful for the coming year, citing a Chinese proverb that teaches the value of hard times. “Only when the year grows cold do we see the qualities of the pine and the cypress,” Li explained to employees. “It’s high time that Baidu stepped forward as a platform company.”

Often described as the “Google of China,” Baidu dominates the Chinese search market while the real, US-based Google has struggled to find a China strategy since famously pulling out of the country in 2010. News surfaced this year that Google was working on a censored search engine for China, the world’s largest internet market by users, but the company appears to have sidelined the project following an employee backlash.

Read more: Google is likely to end its efforts to build a censored search engine for China, says report

Despite China’s economic slowdown, analysts predict Baidu’s annual revenue increased by 20% in 2018, according to the report.

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