Liu Qiangdong

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Liu Qiangdong
Liu Qiangdong.jpg
Born (1973-03-10) 10 March 1973 (age 47) or (1974-02-14) 14 February 1974 (age 46)[Note 1]
NationalityChinese
Alma materRenmin University of China
OccupationFounder and CEO, JD.com
Net worthUS$9 billion (May 2020)[1]
Spouse(s)
Zhang Zetian (m. 2015)
Children2
FamilyHan Chinese
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

Richard Liu Qiangdong (Chinese: 刘强东; born 10 March 1973 or 14 February 1974[Note 1]) is a Chinese Internet entrepreneur. He has been called the "Jeff Bezos of China" and his company JD.com has been compared to Amazon due to its business model.[9] Liu founded Jingdong as a business-to-consumer single retail store for magneto-optical products in June 1998 and later moved the company into an e-commerce website known as JD.com in 2004.[10] Liu is the company's chief executive officer and expanded its e-commerce products from selling consumer electronics to less specialized items, which grew JD.com into one of the largest retailers in China.[11] According to Forbes, Liu's net worth is US$9 billion as of May 2020 with a 15.8% stake in JD.com.[1][12] He was included on the "China Rich List" for 2019.[1]

In April 2020, Liu was in talks with the government of China regarding shipment of 5 million masks and 600,000 pairs of gloves for the Covid 19 relief efforts.[13]

Early life and biography[edit]

Liu Qiangdong was born on 10 March 1973 or 14 February 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. He graduated from primary school in the Jiangsu province and enrolled in the department of sociology in Renmin University of China, known for its connection to China's political elites, in 1992.[14] However, finding the degree would not guarantee good job opportunities, 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.[15]

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, losing more than US$200,000, which left Liu in debt.[16][17] 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.[18]

Personal life[edit]

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.[19][20][21]

In 2008, Liu volunteered as part of Red Cross efforts and drove to Pingwu County to help the victims of the Sichuan earthquake.[10]:104

In August 2015, Liu married Zhang Zetian, an internet celebrity better known as "Sister Milk Tea".[22] 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.[23] Their early romance was spotted in New York City and when pictures were posted online.[24] On April 10, 2014, Liu confirmed this relationship to the public through his Weibo account.[25] On August 8, 2015, Liu Qiangdong and Zhang Zetian registered for marriage in Beijing.[26] They held their wedding ceremony on October 1, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.[27] Their daughter was born in March 2016.[28]

Controversies[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 of seven charges, including having non-consensual sex with a woman he met at Liu's apartment on 26 December 2015.[29] 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.[30][31]

On August 31, 2018, Liu was arrested in Minneapolis, Minnesota with the charge of "rape".[32][33] The complainant is a 21-year-old Chinese student who attended a dinner party with Liu on the night of August 30.[34] 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.[35][36] Liu was released pending further investigation and returned to Beijing.[30]

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".[30][37][38][39][40] Three American law firms have alleged that this statement was misleading and announced a class-action lawsuits in response.[41][42] Liu's attorneys denied any wrongdoing[34] and claimed that the charges are not supported by evidence.[43]

On December 21, 2018, The office of the Hennepin County Attorney said they had not found enough evidence to charge Liu.[44][45]

On April 16, 2019, Liu Jingyao, a student at the University of Minnesota, formally filed a civil lawsuit against Liu Qiangdong, claiming Liu forced himself upon her in his vehicle after the dinner and later raped her at her apartment. The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $50,000.[46][47]. In April 2020, the judge overseeing the case declined the motion to dismiss JD.com from the litigation; both the company and Liu are named defendants.[48]

Career[edit]

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.[10]:11 Upon foundation, Jingdong (Chinese: 京东) company was named after Liu Qiangdong himself and Gong Xiaojing (龚小京 or 龚晓京), his then-girlfriend who also graduated from Renmin University of China. They broke up in 2003.[19][21][49][50] Liu had opened 12 brick-and-mortar stores under the Jingdong brand by 2003.[51]

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.[10]: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 became an e-commerce business.

In 2005, Liu received an offer to sell JD.com for 18 million yuan, which he rejected.[10]: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.[10]: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[52], and Liu has been compared to Jeff Bezos as a self-made individual.[9][53][54]

JD.com applied to go public in the US in January 2014.[55] On 22 May 2014, the date of JD.com's IPO, the stock price rose about 15%[56]

JD.com is the second largest internet-company in the world (by revenue) and is the largest e-commerce company in China.[57][58][59]

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 c "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). Archived from the original on 2018-09-02. 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. 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). 我的创业史 [My entrepreneurial history]. Oriental Publishing House (东方出版社). Section "刘强东 走过的人生节点". ISBN 9787506096584. 1974年2月14日,刘强东先生出生于江苏省宿迁市
  7. ^ 企业创始人 [Company founder]. 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 Anderlini, Jamil. "Liu Qiangdong, the 'Jeff Bezos of China', on making billions with JD.com". Financial Times.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Zhigang, Li (2016). The JD.com Story. LID Publishing. ISBN 9781910649718.
  11. ^ "刘强东:电子商务现在正是到了泡沫期" (in Mandarin). 网易财经. 2011-01-17.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  12. ^ Flannery, Russell. "China Billionaire's 24-Year-Old Wife Boosts JD.com's Fashion Growth". Forbes.
  13. ^ "Billionaires Stepping Up to Fight Covid-19". In NewsWeekly. Retrieved 2020-05-16.
  14. ^ "刘强东为家乡老人发650万春节红包". 责任编辑:jimmonzang (in Chinese). 腾讯网. 2015-02-17.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ Lessons from an Early Failure (Archived Article on FT.com)
  17. ^ "刘强东讲述3个血泪段子:一夜竟然愁白了头" (in Mandarin). 网易教育. 2014-04-23.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
  18. ^ Griffiths, James (2014-11-14). "How JD.com's Richard Liu turned early disaster into future success". Scmp.com. South China Morning Post.
  19. ^ a b Wu, Yaxiong (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.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ a b 传奶茶妹倒追刘强东 男方有婚史儿子8岁. Sina Entertainment. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  22. ^ "JD.com CEO dating girl 19 years younger - Entertainment News". SINA English. 2014-03-11. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ "JD's CEO confirms love with 'milk tea baby' - China.org.cn". Beijing.china.org.cn. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ "Chinese internet tycoon Liu Qiangdong ties knot with Sister Milk Tea".
  27. ^ "JD.com Billiionare Richard Liu Qiangdong Marries Milk Tea Meimei Zhang Zetian; Girlfriend Upgraded to Wife".
  28. ^ 组图:奶茶妹妹抱女出镜 女儿首曝光 网友称像姐妹俩. china.com.cn (in Chinese). 2016-09-18. Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  29. ^ "Court lifts suppression on name of Chinese billionaire entangled in rape trial".
  30. ^ a b c Zhong, Raymond; Li, Yuan (August 2, 2018). "Chinese Billionaire Arrested in Minnesota in Sexual Misconduct Case". The New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  31. ^ "Court lifts suppression on name of Chinese billionaire entangled in rape trial".
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ "Hennepin County > Sheriff's Jail Roster". www4.co.hennepin.mn.us. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  34. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference wsj2 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  35. ^ Qing, Koh Gui (2018-09-24). "The night a Chinese billionaire was accused of rape in Minnesota". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  36. ^ Qing, Koh Gui. "The night a Chinese billionaire was accused of rape in Minnesota". U.S. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  37. ^ Emily Rauhala (2018-09-02). "Chinese billionaire under investigation over sexual assault allegations in Minneapolis". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  38. ^ "JD.com CEO Arrested in U.S. For Alleged Sexual Misconduct". Time. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  39. ^ 微博正文 - 微博HTML5版. m.weibo.cn (in Chinese). Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  40. ^ 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.
  41. ^ 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.
  42. ^ Zhecheng, Qian (2018-09-05). "Amid Rape Allegations, US Law Firms Plan Suit Against JD.com". Sixth Tone. Retrieved 2018-09-07.
  43. ^ "Rape allegations against JD founder at odds with evidence: Lawyer". AsiaOne. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  44. ^ "JD.com Chief Richard Liu Will Not Be Charged With Sexual Assault". The New York Times. December 21, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  45. ^ "JD.com chief Liu Qiangdong will not face rape charges". BBC. December 21, 2018. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  46. ^ "College student sues JD.com CEO Richard Liu over alleged rape". CNN Business. CNN. April 17, 2019. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  47. ^ Yuan, Li (2019-12-13). "She Accused a Tech Billionaire of Rape. The Chinese Internet Turned Against Her. - The New York Times". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2019-12-16. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  48. ^ "Judge rejects motion to remove Chinese billionaire's corporation as defendant in sexual assault lawsuit". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  49. ^ 刘强东恋爱史:三个时期的三个女人. Sina Tech. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  50. ^ 8张图带你认识刘强东初恋龚小京. Hexun. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  51. ^ "About JD.com CEO Richard Liu". JD.com.
  52. ^ Shead, Sam. "Inside JD.com, the giant Chinese firm that could eat Amazon alive". Wired.
  53. ^ "US police arrest 'China's Jeff Bezos' over suspected sexual misconduct". RT.
  54. ^ Chan, Tara Francis. "'China's Jeff Bezos' is now running a village and vows e-commerce will eliminate poverty". Business Insider.
  55. ^ "China's JD.com IPO raises $1.78 billion, augurs well for Alibaba". Reuters. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  56. ^ Pimentel, Benjamin (2014-05-22). "JD.com shares rally 15% in IPO". MarketWatch. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  57. ^ "Here's The Latest Sign That China's E-Commerce Market Is White Hot". Business Insider.
  58. ^ Schiefelbein, Luke (25 July 2018). "Is JD.com The Future Of Chinese E-Commerce?". Forbes. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  59. ^ "Homecoming: E-commerce giant JD.com secretly files for Hong Kong second listing". independent. Retrieved 2020-04-30.

External links[edit]