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Colin Huang, Entrepreneur, Social Entrepreneur Colin Huang Biography,
Founder Stories Social Entrepreneur

Colin Huang: From Mathematics Prodigy to E-Commerce Titan

Early Life

Colin Huang, born on January 1, 1980, in Hangzhou, China, grew up in a working-class family. Demonstrating an early aptitude for mathematics, Huang participated in and won a medal in a Mathematics Olympiad, which earned him a scholarship to a prestigious school in Zhejiang province. This scholarship marked the beginning of his journey towards a successful future.

Colin Huang

During his time at school, Huang mingled with elite students, including the daughter of the school mayor. These interactions helped him build confidence and develop a comfort level with brilliant peers. After completing his school education, he was selected to study computer science at the esteemed Zhejiang University. In his first year, he also became a member of the Melton Foundation.


While still in college, Huang interned at Microsoft Beijing, earning a stipend of 6,000 yuan, which was higher than his parents’ combined salary at the time. Upon graduating in 2004, he received job offers from Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle but chose to join Google, which had just gone public.

Huang worked as an engineer at Google for three years. In 2007, he resigned, tired of the constant travel between the US and China. Having saved enough money, he returned to China and embarked on his entrepreneurial journey.

His first venture was an e-commerce website called Ouku, which gained popularity quickly. In 2010, after three successful years, Huang sold Ouku. He then founded Leqi, another website, followed by Xunmeng, a gaming studio. These ventures laid the financial foundation for his next and most successful project, Pinduoduo.

Founded in 2015, Pinduoduo quickly grew to become a major player in the e-commerce space. By 2018, the platform had over 200 million users. In July 2018, Pinduoduo went public on NASDAQ with a $1.6 billion IPO, the largest of the year. It rapidly became the third-largest e-commerce company in China, challenging giants like JD.com and Alibaba.


By June 2020, Huang had reduced his stake in Pinduoduo to 29.4%, donating 2.37% to a charitable foundation and 7.74% to the Pinduoduo Partnership. He also contributed 2.37% to an irrevocable charity promoting social responsibility and scientific research. In 2021, Huang was named the leading philanthropist on the Hurun China Philanthropy List after pledging US$1.85 billion for social responsibility projects and scientific research.

According to Bloomberg, Huang and the Pinduoduo founding team donated 100 million yuan (2.37% of Pinduoduo shares) to the Starry Night Charitable Trust to support fundamental research in biomedical science, agriculture, and food.


Colin Huang’s journey from a working-class background to becoming a leading figure in China’s e-commerce industry is a testament to his resilience and entrepreneurial spirit. His contributions to the business world and his philanthropic efforts have made a significant impact, solidifying his legacy as a visionary leader and benefactor.


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