Richard Liu Qiangdong: Billionaire-Genius


The fashion industry is a complicated, ever-changing business environment where few find success. Because it’s a creativity-based environment, many believe that only gifted professionals find success. In reality, like many industries, it all comes down to business savvy and marketing brilliance. That’s how entrepreneurs and venture capitalist who know nothing about fashion find success.

Recently, a billionaire-entrepreneur with little experience in the fashion industry, Richard Liu Qiangdong, entered the fashion industry after investing $397 million in the Chinese luxury fashion brand Farfetch. Richard Liu Qiangdong is the founder and CEO of, the second largest e-commerce company in China.

Though Liu Qiangdong has little fashion experience, he’s one of China’s most brilliant entrepreneurs. According to Forbes, Liu Qiangdong is worth $11 billion, and his company’s worth $57.6 billion. His climb to entrepreneurial success is impressive considering he grew up in an impoverished region of China. When he moved to the city, he planned to pursue a career in politics. See Related Link for more information.

His parents owned a small shipping company that only transported coal from one part of China to the other. His focus on politics stemmed from a desire to want to change things for his family. After earning a Sociology degree from Renmin University, one of China’s most prestigious universities, his grandmother fell ill.

Liu Qiangdong decided to abandon his dream of a political career after realizing politics didn’t offer much monetary gain. Instead, he learned computer programming and started working as a freelance coder. He made enough money to support his sick grandmother and put himself through business school.

With an EMBA from the China Europe International Business School, Liu Qiangdong focused more on his entrepreneurial career. While working toward his degree, he opened a small restaurant that failed miserably. He learned he needed to dedicate more time to his business, so in 1998, he opened Jingdong.

This time around, Liu focused all his time and energy in his business. By 2003, Jingdong has 12 locations in some of China’s largest cities. After the SARS outbreak, Jingdong became

Because of Qiangdong’s success in selling other goods online, Richard Liu Quiangdong has now been ranked by Business of Fashion as a top 500 “Most Influential Person In The Fashion Space”. Fashion is, of course, a $2.4 trillion market on its own.


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