Richard Liu Qiangdong is the founder of the JD.com, one of China’s largest retailers in just a few short years. Once named one of Fortune Magazine’s “40 under 40,” Richard Liu has been on the frontline for all sorts of reasons over his career, but especially because he is an icon for entrepreneurship in China.
JD.com, which was originally founded in 1998, is an online direct retailer that holds around 246 million active customer accounts. They are one of the biggest e-commerce retailers in China, second only to Alibaba’s sites. They stock a wide assortment of products from groceries to office supplies and even offer a same-day delivery service in some areas. The company went public on the NASDAQ in May 2014 which made Mr. Liu an even bigger household name, especially after their first quarterly report as a publicly traded company beat expectations by reporting a 43% increase over last year’s sales.
While not everyone knows the ins and outs of the business, most people definitely know Mr. Liu because in 2013 he was arrested for sexual assault in Minnesota. He was released shortly after without charges filed against him, but there is still a lot of controversy surrounding this event to this day. Qiangdong has been in the news again recently because of a major announcement from JD.com, which is one of the latest plans they have to compete with Alibaba and other Chinese retailers.
JD.com is one of China’s largest companies and we’re talking about Mr. Liu Qiangdong, the founder, who may just be as big as his company.
Today he has announced a new plan to help ease some of the traffic between Europe and Asia using drones as delivery vehicles. The project was started in June 2016 with an initial price tag of $44 million, but according to Mr. Liu they can get the entire project done for under $50 million. Once it is complete (which should take less than two years), this service will connect mainland China with one of Europe’s largest airports in just 30 minutes or less. See this page for more information.
Additional information about Liu Qiangdong can be found on https://www.crunchbase.com/person/qiangdong-liu