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Former Baidu Executive LU Qi Joins Pinduoduo Advisory Panel
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Former Baidu Executive LU Qi Joins Pinduoduo. PHOTO: Credit to iYiou

Besides Q4 financial results, here is another piece that deserves attention:

HUANG Zheng, CEO of Pinduoduo, announced during a conference call that Pinduoduo will form a technology advisory panel. This council will be led by LU Qi, a former COO at Baidu.

Sam Altman, the chairman of Y Combinator, thinks LU perfectly aligns with founders of young companies because he has his own approach to negotiation and dealing with young companies.

Interestingly, HUANG joined Y Combinator mentor team and serves as a part-time partner in January 2019, about 2 months ago. At Y Combinator, they started a winter program at Tsinghua University aiming to support young entrepreneurs.

Note: the 2nd one shown in the photo above is HUANG.

LU is specialized in artificial intelligence (AI) for getting famous for his research and understandings on AI. 

HUANG, the founder of Pinduoduo, claimed on the Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call that Pinduoduo will work on distributed AI networks to tailor recommendations for our users through machine learning. Perhaps LU will supervise on that.

HUANG said with the help of AI, its system can better analyze users' interests and needs across different categories and keep up with our users' evolving preferences to present more targeted recommendations.

Concerns:

According to Financial Times, the reason for why LU left Baidu is largely due to only responsibilities to develop artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous driving have been allocated to LU but not many resources needed to develop those.

It is still in question that if LU will face the same problem in Pinduoduo. The question can be divided into two parts. The first is if HUANG or other senior executives would like to support LU’s research and promote his ideas or suggestions from up to down. The second is if sufficient resources can be provided to LU since Pinduoduo is not a hard tech driven company whose R&D level is way lag behind than Baidu, Microsoft or Yahoo where LU previously worked for.

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