Robin Li, the co-founder and CEO of Baidu, was elected as candidate of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) members or ‘academicians’ for his contributions to tech development, the government-backed institution announced on Apr. 30.
In the shortlist, Li was called an academician in the field of engineering and emerging technology management. His Internet search company Baidu bets its future on the next-generation artificial intelligence, rolling out product offerings ranging from driverless cars to smart speakers.
But far from everyone was happy to hear about Li’s achievement. After the CAE announcement, Li’s nomination received criticism on Chinese social media.
Questioning the moral of Baidu as their promoted searches have misled patients to illegal hospitals, the public point to Baidu as a company with low morality in the face of commercial interests. Therefore, some claim that Li’s nomination does not meet the requirements of “good conduct” as clearly stated in the “Articles of Association of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.”
The title of academician is China’s most prestigious academic honor as academicians are regarded as the backbone of the country. It is seen as a great achievement in the scientific community.
A total of 531 candidates have been elected in the shortlist this year, with around a fifth of them being entrepreneurs. The tenures honor those “having made significant and creative achievements and contributions in the fields of engineering and technological sciences.”
The shortlist is not set in stone as of yet. Whether Robin Li will be elected as an academician is still unknown and the nominees will first have to go through a strict selection process.
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