LONDON – Jiang Liu, chairman, president and co-founder of Trends Media China and a pioneer in the Chinese fashion media scene has died at 62 in Beijing, according to multiple sources.
Liu died from acute leukemia at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, one source said.
The company confirmed his death with an obituary via Wechat on Saturday evening. His successor hasn’t been announced, but the local industry speculates Feng Wang, who assumed the position of chief content officer of the group from May 2018 and later editorial director of Esquire China, would be an ideal contender.
“Mr. Liu had a forward-looking vision and adhered to the innovative spirit of ‘being one step ahead’. He constantly pursued excellence and set the trend,” said the company. “We are extremely sad with the departure of Mr.Liu. He dedicated his whole life to the company and built everything from scratch with sweats and tears. His conduct, his passion, his love and pursuit of life will always be a part of our memory.”
Liu believed that its publications should have “global vision and local insight”, according to the obituary. It also credited the success of the company to his unique “grape theory.”
“The fashion titles are like a bunch of grapes. They all grow on the same branch and absorb nutrients from it. The group provides strong support for the overall resources, including printing, distribution, advertising, readership, funding, information, talents and management,” Liu explained in an interview with China Economic Times in 2013.
“At the same time, each grape independently receives sun and rain, independently facing the natural ups and downs. If you grow well, you can continue to grow and grow more grapes around you. The implementation of this theory has made the development of the Trends Media group more diversified and independent, and at the same time more competitive.”
Liu, born in 1956, graduated from Capital Normal University in 1982, and began his journalism career in China Travel News working as a reporter from 1985 to 1993.
He co-founded Trends Media with Hong Wu also in 1993 and launched China’s first local high-end fashion magazine Trends, which later became the Chinese edition of Cosmopolitan.
As the government loosened its publishing policy in the late nineties, the company seized the opportunity to collaborate with international media outlets such as Hearst, Rogers Media to launch the Chinese edition of Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Men’s Health, Robb Report, National Geographic Traveler.
The company also launched vertical media brands such as Car, Trends Health, Cosmopolitan Bride, Harper’s Bazaar Men and Harper’s Bazaar Jewelry to cater to niche audiences.
“The group has been fighting against the current, riding the wind and breaking the waves. The driving force of progress comes from every Trends Media employees who fought on the frontline,” said Liu in his last public appearance at the company’s annual gala. “Time will not stop, nor will Trends Media. We will continue to create unlimited possibilities and continue to witness the changes in life and the birth of wonderful things.”