Qiangdong Liu

Liu Qiangdong

A serial entrepreneur, Liu, 41, achieved relative success in the magneto-optical business, but the Sars crisis of 2003 forced him to wind down. Recognising that e-commerce was unlikely to go away after Sars, Liu launched his first online retail website in 2004, and founded JD.com later that year. China’s largest online direct sales company, the firm reported net revenues of US$18.5 billion in 2014, and was the largest listing on the Nasdaq the same year.