Liu Qiangdong

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Liu Qiangdong
Born (1973-03-10) 10 March 1973 (age 45) or (1974-02-14) 14 February 1974 (age 44)[Note 1]
Suqian, Jiangsu, China
ResidenceBeijing, China
NationalityChinese
Alma materRenmin University of China
OccupationFounder and CEO, JD.com
Net worthUS$12.7 billion (January 2018)[1]
Spouse(s)
Zhang Zetian (m. 2015)
Children2
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

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.[1]

Liu was arrested on August 31, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota on suspect of "criminal sexual conduct", and was released pending a formal complaint.[9] Liu's attorney and JD.com have denied any wrongdoing by Liu. The case is still under investigation. [10]

Early years[edit]

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.[citation needed] 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.[11]

Entrepreneurship[edit]

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.[12]

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. 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. 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.

The company has become one of the leading e-commerce businesses in China. 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%[13]

Personal life[edit]

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.[14][15][16][17]

Liu Qiangdong has a son who was born in 2006. The name of the child's mother is not publicly known, Liu Qiangdong may have had a marriage with her.[14][18][15]

In August 2015, Liu married Zhang Zetian, an internet celebrity better known as "Sister Milk Tea".[19] 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.[20] Their early romance was spotted in New York City and when pictures were posted online. [21] On April 10, 2014, Liu confirmed this relationship to the public through his Weibo account.[22] On August 8, 2015, Liu Qiangdong and Zhang Zetian registered for marriage in Beijing.[23] They held their wedding ceremony on October 1, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.[24] Their daughter was born in March 2016.[25]

Party guest convicted of rape[edit]

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 in a New South Wales District Court of indecent assault, assault and having non-consensual sex with a woman he met at Liu's apartment on 26 December 2015.[26] According to the New York Times, Liu was not charged with a crime or accused of any wrongdoing in that case but he tried to get an Australian court to prevent the release of his name in connection with the case by citing potential damage to his marriage and business, court documents show.[27] In July, a judge in Australia rejected his request for a suppression order.[27][28]

Arrest on suspicion of rape[edit]

On August 31, 2018, Liu was arrested in Minneapolis, Minnesota on suspicion of rape[9] with the charge of "criminal sexual conduct".[29] The complainant is a 21 year old Chinese student who attends the University of Minnesota, where Liu is enrolled in the Doctor of Business Administration program at the Carlson School of Management, a joint program with Tsinghua University.[30][31] Participants were on campus for part of their residency from August 26 to September 1.

The complainant attended a dinner party with Liu on the night of August 30.[10] 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.[31] At around 2:00 AM, the complainant messaged a friend via WeChat to say that she did not give consent and asked her friend not to call the police. The original messages have been seen by Reuters and verified by the complainant's lawyer.[32]

Liu was released pending further investigation and returned to Beijing.[27] 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".[27][33][34][35][36]

Three American law firms have alleged that this statement was misleading or "failed to disclose information pertinent to investors" and announced class-action lawsuits in response.[37][38] Liu's attorneys denied any wrongdoing [10] and claim the charges are not supported by evidence.[39]

On September 20, 2018, Hennepin County Attorney Michael O. Freeman announced that the police had completed their initial investigation and turned the case over to the prosecutors, who would review the evidence and make a decision on whether to bring charges.[40][41] There is no deadline for this determination.[31]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Liu's date of birth is 10 March 1973 according to his official identity document.[2][3][4] However, he has another date of birth, 14 February 1974, which he might recognize.[5][6][7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Liu Qiangdong". Forbes.
  2. ^ SEC; JD.com. "THE COMPANIES LAW EXEMPTED COMPANY LIMITED BY SHARES SECOND AMENDED AND RESTATED MEMORANDUM OF ASSOCIATION OF JD.COM, INC". SEC.gov. SEC. Page 5 shows Liu's Chinese ID number which indicates that his date of birth is 10 March 1973. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  3. ^ Yin, Feng (2014). 京东的秘密:刘强东和他的京东商城 [The secret of Jingdong: Liu Qiangdong and his Jingdong Mall] (in Chinese). Guangdong Travel & Tourism Press. ISBN 9787807669005.
  4. ^ "Liu Qiangdong". All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (in Chinese). Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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) |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  7. ^ "Company founder (企业创始人)". Official website of JD.com. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  8. ^ "杰出人物奖案例申报——刘强东". Xinhuanet. Xinhua News Agency. 2016-10-20. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  9. ^ a b Hufford, Austen; Lin, Liza (2018-09-04). "JD.com Founder Liu Had Been Arrested on Suspicion of Rape". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  10. ^ a b c Zhang, Chunying; Hufford, Austen; Li, Shan (2018-09-06). "Arrest of JD.com CEO Came After Night of Wine and Japanese Food in Minneapolis". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  11. ^ "Richard Liu or Liu Qiangdng - Founder and CEO of JD.com". en.jd.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-16. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  12. ^ Lessons from an Early Failure (Archived Article on FT.com)
  13. ^ Pimentel, Benjamin (2014-05-22). "JD.com shares rally 15% in IPO". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  14. ^ a b 吴亚雄 (2014-04-15). "刘强东晒儿子照片前妻曾挽回婚姻 奶茶妹妹甘作后妈?". 人民网. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  15. ^ a b 南都娱乐周刊. "传奶茶妹倒追刘强东 男方有婚史儿子8岁". 新浪娱乐. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  16. ^ "刘强东恋爱史:三个时期的三个女人". 新浪科技. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  17. ^ "8张图带你认识刘强东初恋龚小京". 和讯网. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  18. ^ 中华网编辑 (2017-07-04). "刘强东承认有个儿子,11岁了". 中华网. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  19. ^ "JD.com CEO dating girl 19 years younger - Entertainment News". SINA English. 2014-03-11. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  20. ^ "揭秘哥伦比亚大学 奶茶妹妹念的不是真正的哥大". news.163.com. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  21. ^ "JD's CEO confirms love with 'milk tea baby' - China.org.cn". Beijing.china.org.cn. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  22. ^ "刘强东承认与奶茶妹恋情(图)|刘强东|奶茶妹妹_凤凰娱乐". Ent.ifeng.com. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  23. ^ "Chinese internet tycoon Liu Qiangdong ties knot with Sister Milk Tea".
  24. ^ "JD.com Billiionare Richard Liu Qiangdong Marries Milk Tea Meimei Zhang Zetian; Girlfriend Upgraded to Wife".
  25. ^ 组图:奶茶妹妹抱女出镜 女儿首曝光 网友称像姐妹俩 Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  26. ^ "Court lifts suppression on name of Chinese billionaire entangled in rape trial".
  27. ^ a b c d Zhong, Raymond; Li, Yuan (August 2, 2018). "Chinese Billionaire Arrested in Minnesota in Sexual Misconduct Case". The New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  28. ^ "Court lifts suppression on name of Chinese billionaire entangled in rape trial".
  29. ^ "Hennepin County > Sheriff's Jail Roster". www4.co.hennepin.mn.us. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  30. ^ Walsh, Paul (September 2, 2018). "Chinese billionaire studying at U arrested on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct". Star Tribune. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  31. ^ a b c Qing, Koh Gui (2018-09-24). "The night a Chinese billionaire was accused of rape in Minnesota". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  32. ^ Qing, Koh Gui. "The night a Chinese billionaire was accused of rape in Minnesota". U.S. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  33. ^ Emily Rauhala (2018-09-02). "Chinese billionaire under investigation over sexual assault allegations in Minneapolis". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  34. ^ "JD.com CEO Arrested in U.S. For Alleged Sexual Misconduct". Time. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  35. ^ "微博正文 - 微博HTML5版". m.weibo.cn (in Chinese). Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  36. ^ Cadell, Cate; Wu, Kane (September 2, 2018). "JD.com CEO released after U.S. arrest; firm says he was falsely accused". Reuters. Retrieved September 2, 2018.
  37. ^ Chen, Celia; Delaney, Robert (2018-09-05). "JD.com faces US share-price slide lawsuits in wake of Richard Liu's arrest". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  38. ^ Zhecheng, Qian (2018-09-05). "Amid Rape Allegations, US Law Firms Plan Suit Against JD.com". Sixth Tone. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  39. ^ "Rape allegations against JD founder at odds with evidence: Lawyer". AsiaOne. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  40. ^ "Prosecutors in Minneapolis to review Liu sexual assault case". washingtonpost.com. September 20, 2018. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  41. ^ "Prosecutors weigh charges against JD.com founder Liu". cnn.com. September 20, 2018. Retrieved September 21, 2018.

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