Liu Qiangdong (刘强东), also known as Richard Liu, is founder and CEO of China's Amazon-like online retailer JD.com or Jingdong Mall.
Liu was born on February 14, 1974 in Suqian, Jiangsu Province. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in sociology from the Renmin University in 1996. Liu had been studying computer programming on the side and managed to earn enough money as a freelance coder to go into business.
While a college student at Renmin University in Beijing, Liu opened a restaurant near the campus with his income earned from programming work along with family loan. The business went bankrupt in months and left him in debt due to a perceived lack of experience.
After graduation, Liu went to work for health products company Japan Life, where he served as the director for computers, the director for business, and the logistics supervisor.
During the two years there, Liu gradually understood that the restaurant bankruptcy was his fault because he had not established management structures, done oversight or established financial systems and procedures.
Later in June 1998, Liu took another shot at starting his own business. With a little over 20,000 yuan (US$3205), he founded Jingdong in Zhongguancun High-tech Industrial Park in Beijing as a distributor of magneto-optical products. By 2003, he has opened 12 stores in the chain.
As the SARS swept China in 2003, a lot of people started to use e-commerce so they didn't need to go out and take the risk of being infected. Liu snatched the opportunity and launched his first online retail website in 2004. Later that year, he founded JD.com. In 2005, Liu closed off all of the company's original bricks-and-mortar stores and diverted to online business.
The company has become one of the leading e-commerce businesses in China. JD.com applied to go public in the U.S. in January 2014.
On May 22, 2014, Liu took JD.com public on the U.S. Nasdaq and the stock price rose about 15%. After the IPO, Liu is worth around US$9.4 billion, making him one of the 100 richest individuals in China. With 84 percent of voting power under a dual-class share structure, Liu also retained effective veto control over all JD's future decisions.
On August 8, 2015, JD.com deputy executive Xu Lei confirmed Liu and Zhang Zetian have obtained their marriage certificates in Beijing on Xu's Sina Weibo account.
On October 1, the couple held wedding in Sydney, Australia. The "Milk Tea Sister" Zhang Zetian announced pregnancy in Wechat on November 2.