Wendy Liu (Singapore Entrepreneur)
|Nationality||Naturalised Singapore Citizen|
|Education||Bachelor of Engineering, Master of Engineering|
|Alma mater||Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore|
Wendy Liu Wenyu is the co-founder of the Singapore-based e-commerce company, Ezbuy and the current chief growth officer of LightInTheBox; the company that acquired Ezbuy in 2018. As one of the pioneers of Singapore’s e-commerce industry, she reportedly grew Ezbuy’s customer base from zero to two million customers within three years of co-founding the business.
According to a 2020 article by A Magazine Singapore, Wendy Liu is a naturalised Singapore citizen.
Early life & family
Wendy Liu Wenyu was born in Xi'an, China as an only child. When she was 17, her mother sent her to Singapore to further her studies. Speaking to Channel News Asia about coming to Singapore on her own, she was quoted to have said:
“I was quite a little princess at home... She (Wendy’s mother) hoped that I could be more independent, that’s why she sent me overseas. She hoped that I could explore more things outside of China... Thanks to her decision, I think here I have gained more than I can expect.”
Wendy Liu is an alumna of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), graduating from the College of Engineering with a Bachelor's degree in electrical and electronic engineering, as well as a minor in business in 2009. Recalling her tertiary education experience in Singapore, she said:
"During my university days, I took additional business and E-commerce related modules out of curiosity and I found it more interesting than my engineering subjects. This was when I understood the concept behind the convenience and savings consumers enjoyed from online shopping and I knew there was potential to revamp and enhance the E-commerce industry in so many ways."
Wendy Liu was the chief executive officer of Ezbuy for eight years before the company was acquired by LightInTheBox in 2018. She then joined LightInTheBox in December 2018 and subsequently served as the acting chief financial officer from March 2019 to July 2020. Since August 2020, Wendy Liu is the company's chief growth officer.
Co-founder of Ezbuy
Wendy Liu’s idea to begin an e-commerce business emerged after a trip to China, where she was exposed to many Chinese e-commerce platforms and the range of products they were offering. Through the elective modules that she took in NTU, she also learned that e-commerce was already booming in countries like China and America.
Origins as 65daigou
Wendy Liu established 65daigou in 2010 alongside her co-founders, He Jian, Xue Bin and Qiao Lizhi. The "65" in the brand's name denotes Singapore's country code while "daigou" is a Mandarin term that translates to "purchasing on behalf". Wendy Liu shared the following about the challenges that the co-founders faced in the early days of the business:
"... each of us was learning new things every day in order to overcome all kinds of difficulties. For instance, when we were creating the first version of our website, we drew the UI interface ourselves using ‘Paint’, after which we sent it to a third party to have it developed."
65daigou served as a "buy-for-me" platform where customers indicated the items they wanted to purchase, after which Wendy Liu and her co-founders handled the purchasing, packing and shipping processes.
Rebranding as Ezbuy
"It (the new name) is the company in a nutshell — what we offer is a quick and easy way to shop online."
In June 2017, Ezbuy reportedly saw traffic of over one million users and made over $8 million in sales from their annual “65eday” sales; the e-commerce platform’s version of the Great Singapore Sale.
- Lim, Mary. “Wendy Liu Of Ezbuy: How Covid-19 Made E-Commerce The New Normal”. A Magazine Singapore. July 28, 2020. Accessed on 30 November 2020.
- Sek, Victoria. “Why “Struggling” Chinese E-Commerce Firm Acquired S’pore-Based Ezbuy For US$86M”. Vulcan Post. December 21, 2018. Accessed on 1 December 2020.
- “Management Team”. LightInTheBox Holding Co Ltd. n.d. Accessed on 2 December 2020.
- Huang, Elaine. "China’s Lightinthebox to acquire Singapore-based Ezbuy for nearly US$86m (updated)". KrAsia. November 9, 2018. Accessed on7 December 2020.
- “Wendy Liu, Ezbuy Singapore”. MONEY FM 89.3. July 23, 2020. Accessed on 2 December 2020.
- Astrobee. “Social Media Shopping Is Southeast Asia’s Next E-commerce Disruption Wave”. ezbuy. July 25, 2017. Accessed on 1 December 2020.
- Jagdish, Bharati. “Business spats, irresponsible startups and the future of brick-and-mortar retail: ezbuy CEO Wendy Liu goes On the Record”. Channel News Asia. July 22, 2018. Accessed on 30 November 2020.
- “CEO of ezbuy (Singapore), Wendy Liu”. Channel News Asia. July 21, 2018. Accessed on 30 November 2020.
- "LightInTheBox Announces Appointment of Acting Chief Financial Officer". PRNewswire. March 11, 2019. Accessed on 7 December 2020.
- Nunis, Sadie-Jane. "Viewpoints From A Leader: Ms Wendy Liu". Singapore Institute of Management. 2018. Accessed on 7 December 2020.
- "LightInTheBox Announces Appointment of Officers". PR News Wire. August 6, 2020. Accessed on 7 December 2020.
- Astrobee. “65daigou Is Now ezbuy.sg”. ezbuy. March 18, 2016. Accessed on 1 December 2020.
- Sek, Victoria. "Meet The Woman Behind Ezbuy - From 'Taobao Agent' To e-Commerce Giant In Its Own Right". Vulcan Post. August 13, 2018. Accessed on 7 December 2020.
- Sainul Abudheen K. "E-commerce platform 65daigou rebrands as ezbuy, secures US$20M Series B". Yahoo! News. March 23, 2016. Accessed on 7 December 2020.
- "Ezbuy Celebrates 2nd Year Anniversary With Social Commerce, Friends Deal". Media OutReach. March 13, 2018. Accessed on 7 December 2020.
- Tegos, Michael. "EZBuy raises $20m to help you buy stuff from overseas". Tech In Asia. March 23, 2016. Accessed on 7 December 2020.
- Astrobee. “ezbuy’s 65eDay – Global Super Sales break sales records of past year!”. ezbuy. June 20, 2017. Accessed on 2 December 2020.
- Astrobee. “A Better GSS with ezbuy 65eday – Global Super Sales!”. ezbuy. June 1, 2018. Accessed on 2 December 2020.