JD.com founder Richard Liu leaves CEO post

Apr 6, 2022, 10:47 PM | Updated: Apr 7, 2022, 12:54 am

SINGAPORE (AP) — Chinese e-commerce company JD.com said Thursday that its founder Richard Liu has left his position as CEO, the latest Chinese billionaire founder to step aside amid increased government scrutiny of the country’s technology industry.

Liu will hand over the reins to JD.com’s president Xu Lei, according to a company statement. Liu will remain as the chairman of the board and continue to focus on JD.com’s “long-term strategies, mentoring younger management, and contributing to the revitalization of rural areas,” the statement said.

“I’ll devote more of my time to JD’s long-term strategies and future drivers as we continue to work on the most challenging yet valuable things,” Liu said.

Liu is the latest in a string of Chinese technology company founders who have stepped down from leadership positions in recent years. Last year, e-commerce firm Pinduoduo’s founder Colin Huang resigned as chairman and Bytedance founder Zhang Yiming also left his position as chairman of the firm.

The departures came as Beijing cracked down on the country’s once-freewheeling technology industry over antitrust concerns and fears that China’s technology giants were wielding too much influence over society.

JD.com’s stock price has plunged 27% over the past year. Its New York-listed stock closed down 3% to $59.07 on the Nasdaq ahead of the announcement Thursday.

Like many Chinese technology companies, JD.com’s finances have suffered over the past year. The company reported a net loss of 5.2 billion yuan ($817 million) for the fourth quarter of 2021, compared to a net income of 24.3 billion yuan ($3.8 billion) in the previous year, even as revenue grew 23%.

E-commerce firms like JD.com and rival Alibaba have been suffering from economic headwinds and a slowdown in consumption, as well as increased competition from other players such as short-video companies like Kuaishou that have begun incorporating e-commerce functions into their platforms.

In 2018, Liu was arrested in Minnesota in the U.S. after a Chinese university student accused him of raping her in her apartment after they both attended a dinner party. Liu was exonerated after prosecutors found there was not enough evidence to press charges. The student later sued Liu in a civil lawsuit, seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer speaks inside the Recorders Office, Nov. 9, 2022, in...
Associated Press

Dominion conspiracies highlighted by Fox lawsuit have election officials concerned for safety

Maricopa County officials are bracing for what could happen when it comes time to replace its contract for voting equipment.
1 day ago
A building is damaged and trees are down after severe storm swept through Little Rock, Ark., Friday...
Associated Press

Tornado causes widespread damage to buildings, vehicles in Little Rock

A tornado raced through Little Rock and surrounding areas Friday, splintering homes, overturning vehicles and tossing trees.
1 day ago
FILE - Former President Donald Trump speaks with reporters while in flight on his plane after a cam...
Associated Press

Worries grow that Trump indictment could undermine public confidence in other investigations

Trump’s attempts to overturn those results amid false claims of widespread fraud are at the heart of two other ongoing investigations.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Superior Court of Arizona in Yavapai County)...
Associated Press

Arizona judge has cases reassigned following DUI arrest

The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that all cases currently assigned to a Yavapai County Superior Court judge recently arrested on suspicion of extreme DUI will be reassigned to other judges.
5 days ago
Haitian migrant Gerson Solay, 28, carries his daughter, Bianca, as he and his family cross into Can...
Associated Press

US, Canada to end loophole that allows asylum-seekers to move between countries

President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday announced a plan to close a loophole to an immigration agreement.
8 days ago
Expert skateboarder Di'Orr Greenwood, an artist born and raised in the Navajo Nation in Arizona and...
Associated Press

Indigenous skateboard art featured on new stamps unveiled at Phoenix skate park

The Postal Service unveiled the “Art of the Skateboard" stamps at a Phoenix skate park, featuring designs from Indigenous artists.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona Photo)...
Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona

5 common causes for chronic neck pain

Neck pain can debilitate one’s daily routine, yet 80% of people experience it in their lives and 20%-50% deal with it annually.
(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...
Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
JD.com founder Richard Liu leaves CEO post