Liu Dong is a 23 year-old employee at internet search engine firm Baidu, who works in its human resources department.
How did her photo go viral?
Baidu is closely followed by netizens. Its New Year’s Day party for staff is a big event, with footage from the gathering often leaking online. This year Liu took part in a staff fashion show, and a fellow staffer in the audience posted footage of her catwalk strut. Netizens were impressed, commenting on Liu’s striking similarity to Taiwanese actress Lin Chi-ling (see WiC36).
Her 15 minutes of fame?
Liu was soon being styled ‘Baidu Lady’ on the web, becoming one of the top ten searches on Baidu’s own website. Within three hours her weibo following had surged to 50,000 (and currently stands at 270,000). The media agreed that Liu was a great advertisement for Baidu, and countered stereotypes that tech firms only employed “boring” types.
Any money in it for her?
It might turn out to be lucrative: leading HR firm San Mao has offered to pay Liu Rmb1 million to become its spokesperson. And in some good PR: screenwriter Ning Caishen – who has been famously critical of Baidu – has announced he has been so charmed by Liu that he’s started using Baidu search engine again.
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