Briefing: Co-founder of China’s once touted Amazon announces his departure

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Co-Founder Exits China’s Biggest E-Book Retailer– Yicai Global

What happened: Li Guoqing, co-founder of Chinese online bookseller Dangdang, announced in an open letter that he has left the company, which he founded with his wife Peggy Yu in 1999. After Li’s departure, Yu will serve as CEO of the company going forward. Li now plans to explore the knowledge-sharing sector by setting up a book club.

Why it’s important: Li Guoqing is a prominent figure in China’s internet industry as the co-founder of Dangdang, a prominent e-book retailer that’s often likened to Amazon. There are early signs showing that Li has been taking a back seat in the company’s operations. Through its official account on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, Dangdang announced that since late last year Li has been on indefinite leave after he made a controversial remark about extramarital sex regarding the outcome of a legal case involving JD CEO Liu Qiangdong. Despite Dangdang’s early rise to prominence, the online bookseller is gradually losing the battle with younger competitors like JD.