Currently worth at least $57 billion, JD.com is one of China’s largest e-commerce platforms. Its founder and CEO, Richard Liu Qiangdong, has an estimated net worth of 7 billion.
A graduate of Renmin University of China, Richard Liu would follow up his degree in sociology with EMBA from the China Europe International Business School.
After a two-year stint working with Japan Life, Liu opened a small retail business in Beijing. Named Jingdong, the company focused on selling computer parts. A massive success, Jingdong would go on to expand to 12 stores by 2003.
That same year, trouble would strike.
The SARS Epidemic
Near the end of 2002, China was the victim of a dangerous viral outbreak. Leading to the deaths of hundreds, the SARS outbreak ravaged the Beijing region. Forcing both customers and staff alike to become home-bound, the future of many brick-and-mortar stores turned grim.
Richard Liu Qiangdong was no exception.
Livelihood threatened, Richard Liu needed to change direction. Recognizing a change in the shopping habits of consumers at the time, Liu sensed a powerful business opportunity.
The Birth of JD.com
By 2004, Jingdong’s physical stores had been replaced with digital ones. Jingdong had become a fully online operation.
Renamed 360Buy Jingdong, the change was a major success. Strong customer support quick delivery and a powerful user experience, JD.com proved itself a strong competitor in the online business world.
Continuing it’s focus on selling computer parts, the company’s success would soon attract other hungry businesses to itself. Cultivating a strong business relationship – one that would turn into a long-term partnership – JD.com would expand to sell a large variety of consumers goods.
In 2014, JD.com became China’s first publicly traded company on NASDAQ. The decision would lead to a 15% rise in stocks that same day.
Richard Liu Qiangdong continues serve JD.com as CEO and remains an essential element in daily operations.
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