Richard Liu Qiangdong - CEO of JD
Richard Liu, also known as Liu Qiangdong, is one of China's most influential internet entrepreneurs. The award-winning e-marketplace titan is known as the founder and chief executive officer of one China's largest e-commerce platforms, JD.com, which recently reported full year revenues of about $55.7 billion. As of early 2018, Liu's net worth was an estimated $12.7 billion.
Liu was born on March 10, 1973, in Suqian, Jiangsu province of China. His parents both worked in the business of shipping coal from northern China to its southern regions. Following his interest in politics early on, he obtained his bachelor's degree in sociology from Renmin University, an elite research university in China, in 1996. He also spent much of his spare time self-teaching himself computer programming skills. He then obtained an Executive Master of Business Administration from the China Europe International Business School, a globally top ranked business school in Shanghai, China. Following graduation, he began working for Japan Life, a health product company. During his two-year tenure there, he held a number of different roles including director for computers, director for business as well as the logistics supervisor. He started his own business, Jingdong, in 1998. It was initially a chain of small stores that focused on distributing magneto-optical products. In 2004, following a SARS outbreak that forced everyone to remain house-bound and affected all retail business, Liu transformed the chain into an online site now named JD.com, and one that is currently compared to U.S.-based giants such as Amazon.
Under Liu, JD.com listed on NASDAQ in 2014. Two years later, it became the first Chinese Internet company to make the Fortune 500 List. The enterprise is a global leader in high tech, robotics and Artificial Intelligence solutions and nationwide distribution and delivery systems that use drones, autonomous vehicles as well as a fleet of clean-energy vehicles. Its drone fleet is larger and more comprehensive than any other major ecommerce company on the globe. These were all fueled by Liu's desire to make products available to as many individuals as possible, regardless of location, so that even residents in more rural regions, who were typically charged more money for products due to the complicated shipping methods, could enjoy the price and convenience benefits that ecommerce was already bringing to urban residents throughout the country. JD.com currently has over 300 million active customers and more than 150,000 employees. Its total annual revenues have surpassed $50 billion. Accordingly, Liu's efforts with JD.com have earned him a spot on Fortune's list of the "World's Greatest Leaders."
Liu's business acumen and complete disruption of the Chinese online ecommerce industry have earned him accolades both in China as well as worldwide. In 2011, he was the recipient of the prestigious "2011 China Economic Person of the Year" award from CCTV, China's largest nationwide television network. This is in addition to several other awards that recognized his achievements in the e-commerce industry in China, including the "2011 Chinese Business Leader" and Fortune China's "2012 Chinese Businessman" awards. According to Forbes, Liu is currently #140 on the list of 2018 billionaires, #18 on China's Rich List of 2017 and #25 on the Richest in Tech 2017 list.
He is married and has two children. He and his family reside in Beijing, China.