Liu Qiangdong is a Chinese Internet entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of the e-commerce website JD.com. He is one of the most successful people in the tech industry, so many people in business know of him. However, there are many facts about this businessman that people do not know. Here are 10 things that you might not know about Liu Qiangdong.
1. Qiangdong is from the Jiangsu Province
Liu Qiangdong was born in Suqian and the Jiangsu Province, China. There is debate about his age, as some sources claim he was born on March 10, 1973, while other sources give his date of birth as February 14, 1974. His parents worked in the coal industry, shipping coal from China to the south.
2. Liu Qiangdong Experienced Poverty as a Child
Although he is now one of the richest men in the world, Liu Qiangdong grew up in poverty. In an interview with The Financial Times, Qiangdong revealed that his life was once very different. While he can now afford to eat the finest ingredients and delicacies whenever he wishes, his family could only afford to eat meat once or twice a year when he was a child. The most common food eaten in his childhood home was sweet potato, which was served in three different ways at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
3. He Has a Degree in Sociology
As he is an Internet entrepreneur, people may believe that Lui Qiangdong studied either computing or technology at university. However, that is not the case as he studied for a degree in sociology at Renmin University of China, graduating in 1996. He later attended the China Europe International Business School and earned an EMBA.
4. Lui Qiangdong Learned Computer Programming in His Spare Time
During his time at college, Liu Qiangdong taught himself computer programming in his spare time. Businesses had begun to use computers at that time, but there were very few computer programmers around. Therefore, Liu Qiangdong was able to make money
5. He Had a Failed Business Venture
Liu Qiangdong used the money he made from computer programming to buy a mobile phone and computer, build his parents a new home in their village, and invest in a restaurant business. Although the restaurant business was reasonably successful at first, his chef and cashier began a relationship and started to steal from the restaurant, forcing the restaurant to close. As Qiangdong had lost all his money, he got a job working for a Japanese company, and his role allowed him to learn more about business and management.
6. His Online Business Began as a Market Stall
Although he is known as an Internet entrepreneur, Liu Qiangdong began his business in 1998 on a market stall. He had noticed that many people selling electronics and computer components were cheating their customers by selling substandard or counterfeit products. He wanted to take a different approach and build trust from the customers, so his market stall only sold genuine and high-quality products. Liu Qiangdong’s market stall also differed from others at the market as he was the only one using price tags and receipts.
7. SARS Changed His Fortunes
After beginning selling computer components on a market stall in 1998, Liu Qiangdong started expanding his business. By 2003, he had a chain of 12 electronics stores in Beijing. However, things took a drastic turn when the SARS pandemic hit the city, and the entrepreneur was forced to close his stores. Many people may have seen this as a disaster and the end of the business, but Liu Qiangdong used the situation to change his fortunes. Along with a handful of staff from his business, he relaunched the company online as JD.com. He realized that his company had far greater potential as an e-commerce business than one with physical stores and the associated overheads.
8. He Ran the Customer Services Department for Two Years on His Own
To save on costs, Liu Qiangdong was the only member of the customer services department for his company for the first two years after it became an e-commerce business. He kept an alarm clock in his office and set it to go off every two hours. The businessman would sleep for a couple of hours on the wooden office floor until the alarm went off, then spend a couple of hours answering customers’ questions online. He would then grab another two hours of sleep before answering the next round of questions. The entrepreneur has said it was a good thing that he gained this experience, as it gave him a clear insight into what the customers wanted. He used this knowledge to help make his business the success it is today.
9. He is Married to an Internet Celebrity and Has Two Children
Liu Qiangdong is married to Zhang Zetian, who is an Internet celebrity better known as ‘Sister Milk Tea.’ The couple began their relationship in 2014 and registered for marriage a year later. Their wedding took place in Sydney, Australia, in October 2015. Liu Qiangdong has two children. His first child is a son who was born in 2006. It is unknown if Qiangdong was married to the mother of his child. His second child is a daughter from his marriage to Zhang Zetian, who was born in 2016.
10. Lin Qiangdong is a Multi-Billionaire
Lin Qiangdong’s success as an Internet entrepreneur means that he is now a multi-billionaire. According to Forbes, Liu Qiandong’s net worth is $19.3 billion. However, his net worth can vary by millions each day as the figures fluctuate for each trading day. In 2020, Forbes ranked the Internet entrepreneur as the 17th richest person in China, while in 2021, he ranks as the 77th richest billionaire in the world. As his business continues to grow, it is likely that Liu Qiangdong’s net worth will also continue to increase.