Qiangdong Richard Liu
Liu has led China’s answer to Amazon to dizzying heights. The Wal-Mart-backed 360buy.com has seen 200% annual growth in revenue since Liu founded it in 2004 after his brick-and-mortar operation — a consumer electronics shop he set up in Zhongguancun, Beijing’s IT district, in 1998 — was driven to the brink of ruin by China’s deadly SARS outbreak. (Last year revenue totaled $3.3 billion.) Today Beijing-based 360buy.com is second only to Alibaba’s online marketplace, a gap Liu is working on closing with the launch of an all-out price war. For cash-rich 360buy.com ($1.3 billion and counting), lower prices mean big gains in market share. Of course it also means Liu might have to forgo profit and delay his U.S. IPO until after 2013, but for 360buy.com, the end game is worth it. Hiring spree: Liu is adding 10,000 employees this year. And then next year, too. –R.A.