Baidu founder and CEO Robin Li spoke at Peking University’s 120th-anniversary celebration, saying the areas surrounding the institution inspired him to pursue a career as an entrepreneur.

Li attended the university for four years in the late 1980s at a time when market-oriented ideas began to be espoused.  He graduated from the Department of Information Management in 1991.

“I started to pay attention to people with beepers in Zhongguancun,” he is quoted as saying. “I began to learn that messages could instantly send information to the other side of the ocean.

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Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.