Liu Qiangdong (born 14 February 1974), also known as Richard Liu, is a Chinese entrepreneur specializing in internet business. He is the founder of a website named on Jingdong Mall, one of the leading Chinese e-commerce industry leaders.
He was born in Suqian, Jiangsu province. His parents import coal from the North of China to South. He first got into the People’s University of China, known for its proximity with China’s political elites. However, finding it will not guarantee good job opportunity, he spent his spare time reading computer programming. He later earned an Executive MBA from the school of China Europe International Business.
As a college student, he got enough money by working as a freelance coder to go into business and opened a restaurant near the college campus. However due to his perceived lack of experience, he declined to take a leading role. The result was a disaster. The staff and manager embezzled all the money and Liu was forced to close shop soon. After completing college, He started working for Japan Life, a Japanese health product enterprise and served as the director for computers, the director for business, and the logistics supervisor. After two years he started his own business Jingdong Century Trading in Zhongguancun High-tech Industrial Park specialising distributing magneto-optical products. By 2003 he had 12 stores in the chain.
Then in 2003 SARS crisis swept China. The outbreak, which killed 300 people forced both staff and customers to stay inside houses and forced Liu Qiangdong to divert to online business. He also realized that once the crisis was over the craze of ordering online will not be dying soon, and established the online e-commerce industry, JingDong. By 2005 he closed off all his business and completely went into e-commerce.
JingDong is now one of the premier e-commerce sites in Chinese. It became the first Chinese company to release IPO in NASDAQ, ahead of its rival, Alibaba. The stock price rose to about 15% on the day of its release.
Relationships and Marriage
Liu’s first girlfriend, Gong Xiaojing was in a relationship with him for several years. However, they parted ways, but JingDong was named after last characters of their names.
Liu’s next relationship was with Zhuang Jia, a staff member of the company. On 15 July 2012, Liu and Zhuang twitted about home-grown tomatoes in Weibo 15 minutes apart. It was speculated they were the same tomatoes, from Liu’s home and quickly rumors spread about an office romance. The company later confirmed the relationship. Zhuang later left JingDong shortly after its launch of a small home appliances venture.
Liu married Zhang Zetian, 19 years his junior in 2015. The romance started when she was studying at Barnard College. Their dating was well spotted and pictures posted online. Liu confirmed this relationship through his Weibo account. On August 8, 2015, Liu Qiangdong and Zhang Zetian submitted for registry of their marriage and the ceremony took place on October 1, 2015, in Sydney, Australia.