JD.com is an e-commerce giant, which grew at breakneck speed during Richard Liu Qiangdong’s first few years of ownership, surpassing competitors in crucial sectors such as apparel, electronics, and household products. In 2004, JD.com took its first giant leap to global markets, starting a joint venture with its American counterpart, Walmart (NYSE: WMT), in the United States.
JD.com became a publicly traded company in 2014, leading the surge of “T-shirt websites” that made the business of selling low-cost basics the world over. The rise of JD.com started in 1999 when Richard Liu Qiangdong quit a university in his hometown of Jiaxing and decided to travel around the world to understand how the retail world worked. He came across the writings of Ralph Schoenfeld, founder of Groupon, who suggested that retail was more than just selling products.
With this in mind, Richard Liu was determined to establish a platform that could deliver a good customer experience. He opened his first store, selling cell phones, in Jiaxing, and gradually expanded his business to include accessories, shoes, and computers.
Today, Qiangdong has developed an increasingly diverse range of offerings across 35 countries and six continents. The heart of JD.com is a kind of meritocracy, Liu said, likening it to the ruthless business world where only the strongest survive. “If you’re good, you’ll come out on top,” he added. Liu has now expanded his company beyond the Chinese market to include various goods and services for global customers.
Liu Qiangdong dropped out of college to become a delivery driver at 21 and now runs JD.com, an online marketplace in 200 countries, competing against industry heavyweights such as Alibaba (NYSE: BABA). He is, however, extremely loyal to his employees and has a keen understanding of their financial situation.
Liu worked to support his family while pursuing an education, eventually earning a master’s degree in business administration from North China University of Science and Technology. He spent another seven years’ operating as an investment banker for firms such as CCB International and Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong. See this article to learn more.
For more information about Liu Qiangdong, visit: https://corporate.jd.com/liu-qiangdong-jd-ceo-about