JD's billionaire founder Richard Liu step away from his top role as Beijing calls for common prosperity

September 6, 2021 8:43 pm

Richard Liu, the founder of China’s e-commerce platform, have stepped down from a frontline management position to switch his focus to the company’s long-term strategy and rural development.


JD said on Monday that the company has promoted Xu Lei, the chief executive of JD retail, to president of JD and took over Richard Liu’s role to run day-to-day operation for the Chinese e-commerce giant. Xu Lei will directly report to Liu, who remain his position as chairman and CEO of the company.

 Liu, who founded in 1998, will also spend more time mentoring younger management and contributing to the revitalisation of rural areas, JD said in a statement.

The long-term commitment of Richard Liu is align with Beijing’s initiative which called for common prosperity, seeking to narrow a huge wealth gap between Chinese super rich and poor citizens.  

Liu joined a raft of Chinese tech billionaires who have recently stepped down from top positions or lay low amid Beijing’s regulatory clampdown on the sector.

Pinduoduo’s billionaire founder Colin Huang stepped down as chairman in March after donating a 2.37% stake worth USD1.85 billion to his charity foundation.

In May 20, Zhang Yi Ming announced his resignation to the company via an internal letter. Explaining the rationale behind his resignation, Zhang said augmented reality, life science, scientific computing has emerged and influenced human life despite its early stage of technology development, his leaving will help company to better inspire innovation and enrich life in long term initiatives.

In June, Wang Xing, the founder of local services and food delivery giant Meituan has donated 10% of his Meituan shares worth about USD2.3 billion to his own philanthropic foundation. The wealth transfers comes at the time when Meituan and other tech giants are under investigation for anti-monopoly practice commonly know as choose one of two, Chinese authorities have started to investigate into Meituan in April.