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Internet tycoon Richard Liu Qiangdong has already exited from more than 300 companies since 2020. Photo: Shutterstock founder Richard Liu gives up equity stakes in two affiliated firms to boost efficiency as he exits corporate roles

  • The founder transferred his stakes in Suqian Tianning and Xian JD to Miao Qin, a vice-president at the Beijing-based e-commerce giant
  • That move comes after Liu stepped down as’s chief executive in April
Chinese internet tycoon Richard Liu Qiangdong, the billionaire founder of e-commerce giant, recently relinquished his equity interests in two affiliated companies to boost their administrative efficiency, while continuing a trend among major tech entrepreneurs to step back from corporate roles.
Liu, 48, has agreed to transfer his 45 per cent equity stakes in both Suqian Tianning and Xian JD to Miao Qin, a vice-president at Beijing-based, according to separate filings last Friday by Hong Kong-listed subsidiaries JD Logistics and JD Health International.

Those transfers were initiated “to improve the administration efficiency” of the two affiliated firms because Liu, as a non-executive director, was no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of, which made it difficult to arrange the signing of relevant corporate documents, according to the filings. It said various administrative matters or filings of Suqian Tianning and Xian JD could be better managed by Miao.

The changes follow Liu’s decision to step down as’s chief executive in April, handing the job over to company president Xu Lei. That came several months after Liu, who remains company chairman, announced the promotion of Xu to president after previously serving as chief executive at JD Retail.
Richard Liu Qiangdong, founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Photo: Handout

Under the new arrangements, Miao will hold the 45 per cent equity stakes at both Suqian Tianning and Xian JD. Li Yayun, chief executive at JD Technology, and chief human resources officer Zhang Pang retain their equity interests of 30 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively, in those two affiliated firms. had no comment on the change of primary equity shareholder in Suqian Tianning and Xian JD.

Shares of in Hong Kong were down 2.93 per cent to HK$218.40 at the close of trading on Wednesday.

Liu’s latest move reflects his commitment to focus on strategic planning at, as China’s internet industry emerges from a series of regulatory crackdowns to face the challenges of a faltering domestic economy.

Why did these 5 Chinese tech billionaires step down?

Liu has already exited from more than 300 companies since 2020, according to business intelligence platform Tianyancha.

“I’ll devote more of my time to’s long-term strategies and future drivers, as we continue to work on the most challenging yet valuable things,” Liu said in April after stepping down as the company’s chief executive.

He is among a number of high-profile Chinese tech founders who have retreated from running day-to-day operations at their companies amid an intense regulatory crackdown that started in late 2020. These include Philip Kuai Jiaqi of delivery affiliate Dada Nexus, Su Hua of Kuaishou Technology, Colin Huang Zheng of Pinduoduo and Zhang Yiming, founder of TikTok owner ByteDance.
In June, Liu cashed out nearly US$1 billion from since he stepped down as chief executive, according to public filings, prompting speculation over what he may do with the proceeds. founder Richard Liu cashes out nearly US$1 billion from e-commerce giant

Liu – with a net worth of US$12.3 billion as of September 21, according to Forbes – is one of the most recognised leaders in China’s tech industry.

He built up from a small operation, selling electronics out of a 4-square-metre (43 square foot) stall in Beijing’s Zhongguancun, into one of the country’s largest e-commerce companies to rival Alibaba Group Holding, which owns the South China Morning Post.
Earlier this month, dethroned Huawei Technologies Co to become China’s largest non-state-affiliated business by revenue, according to the China Enterprise Confederation’s Top 500 Chinese Enterprises list.
Liu, however, made headlines in 2018 after he was taken into custody in the US by Minneapolis police on suspicion of criminal sexual misconduct. He was later released with no charges filed. A University of Minnesota student, Liu Jingyao, has since filed a civil suit against him for an alleged assault and a jury trial is expected to be held next month.