|Born||[Note 1]10 March 1973 or 14 February 1974|
|Alma mater||Renmin University of China|
|Occupation||Founder and CEO, JD.com|
|Net worth||US$12.7 billion (January 2018)|
Zhang Zetian (m. 2015)
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Liu Qiangdong (Chinese: 刘强东; born 10 March 1973 or 14 February 1974[Note 1]), also known as Richard Liu, is a Chinese Internet entrepreneur. He is the founder of JD.com or Jingdong Mall, one of the leading e-commerce industry leaders in China.
As of January 2018, Liu's net worth rose to US$12.7 billion with JD.com surging in its stock price.
Liu Qiangdong was born in 1973 or 1974[Note 1] in Suqian, Jiangsu province. His parents are in the business of shipping coal from north China to the south. As a young man, Liu Qiangdong had an interest in politics. Liu enrolled in department of sociology in the People's University of China, known for its connection to China's political elites. However, finding the degree will not guarantee good job opportunity, Liu spent all his spare time learning computer programming. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1996, and later earned an EMBA from the China Europe International Business School.
As a college student, Liu invested his income earned from programming work and family loans into a restaurant venture. The business failed in a few months and left him in debt.
After graduation, Liu was employed by Japan Life, a Japanese health product enterprise, and successively served as the director for computers, the director for business, and the logistics supervisor. Two years later, in June 1998, he started his own business Jingdong in Zhongguancun High-tech Industrial Park in Beijing as a distributor of magneto-optical products, focusing on selling authorized products when counterfeit products were widely sold.:11 By 2003, he had opened 12 stores.
The SARS outbreak in 2003 kept staff and clients of Jingdong at home and forced Liu to rethink the business model and divert to online business. Due to the outbreak, Liu's business lost over 8 million yuan.:17 Liu launched his first online retail website in 2004, and founded JD.com (short form for Jingdong) later that year. In 2005, Liu closed off all brick-and-mortar stores and become an e-commerce business.
In 2005, Liu received an offer to sell JD.com for 18 million yuan, which he rejected.:27
In 2007, Liu employed a full-category strategy for JD.com, changing the company's business model from selling consumer electronics to large variety of goods.:xiii The company has become one of the leading e-commerce businesses in China. JD.com has been compared to Amazon because of similar business models, and Liu has been compared to Jeff Bezos as a self-made individual.
JD.com applied to go public in the US in January 2014. On 22 May 2014, the date of JD.com's IPO, the stock price rose about 15%
Upon foundation, Jingdong (Chinese: 京东) company was named after Liu Qiangdong himself and Gong Xiaojing (Chinese: 龚小京 or 龚晓京), his then-girlfriend who also graduated from Renmin University of China. They broke up in 2003.
In August 2015, Liu married Zhang Zetian, an internet celebrity better known as "Sister Milk Tea". Their relationship started in early 2014 when Liu studied at Columbia University and Zhang was an exchange student at Barnard College, affiliated with Columbia University. Their early romance was spotted in New York City and when pictures were posted online. On April 10, 2014, Liu confirmed this relationship to the public through his Weibo account. On August 8, 2015, Liu Qiangdong and Zhang Zetian registered for marriage in Beijing. They held their wedding ceremony on October 1, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. Their daughter was born in March 2016.
Sydney party host
On 23 July 2018, Liu Qiangdong was named as the billionaire host of a private dinner party in Sydney that was the focus of a rape trial. Party guest Xu Longwei was found guilty of seven charges, including having non-consensual sex with a woman he met at Liu's apartment on 26 December 2015. Liu was not charged with a crime or accused of any wrongdoing in that case. As a result, he asked for a suppression order from the Australian court to prevent the release of his name in connection with the case, a request which was rejected.
Arrest on suspicion of sexual misconduct
On August 31, 2018, Liu was arrested in Minneapolis, Minnesota with the charge of "criminal sexual conduct". The complainant is a 21-year-old Chinese student who attended a dinner party with Liu on the night of August 30. After the party ended at 9:30 PM, the complainant and Liu returned to her apartment, where she alleges the rape occurred at 1:00 AM. Liu was released pending further investigation and returned to Beijing.
On September 2, 2018, JD.com issued a statement that the company would take legal action against "false reporting or rumors" after the local police found "no substance to the claim against Mr. Liu". Three American law firms have alleged that this statement was misleading and announced a class-action lawsuits in response. Liu's attorneys denied any wrongdoing and claimed that the charges are not supported by evidence.
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- Yan, Jingjie (16 February 2015). "刘强东朋友圈晒婚戒 与奶茶妹已结婚？". Yicai (一财网). First Financial (第一财经). According to a report published on 16 February 2015, Liu Qiangdong celebrated his birthday shortly before that day. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
- FANG Xingdong (方兴东) (interviewer, commentator); LIU Qiangdong (interviewee) (October 2017). My entrepreneurial history (我的创业史). Oriental Publishing House (东方出版社). Section "刘强东 走过的人生节点". ISBN 9787506096584.
On 14 February 1974, Mr. Liu Qiangdong was born in Suqian City, Jiangsu Province (1974年2月14日，刘强东先生出生于江苏省宿迁市)
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