Richard Liu founded JD.com in 2004 and is the ecommerce company’s CEO and chairman.

Richard Liu grew up in a Chinese village that lacked basic utilities and where his formerly wealthy parents worked as rice farmers. His grandmother taught him how to be resourceful, especially when it came to cooking, and Liu absorbed her teachings.

Richard Liu did well in school and was accepted to Renmin University. His family and the village inhabitants cut some of the costs of travelling to Beijing. Richard Liu studied sociology and computer programming; he made money with the latter and used it to open a restaurant. His employees stole and forged receipts, so the business went bankrupt. Wanting to gain experience, he took China Europe International Business School’s EMBA program and worked at Japan Life.

He launched Jingdong in 1998, a storefront that, unlike it’s competitors, sold reliable and authentic goods. It grew into an electronics chain and expanded across China, earning millions of dollars in annual revenue.

Richard Liu conducted business online during the 2003 SARS epidemic, and after seeing success, made the company online only in 2004. He wrote JD.com’s code and handled customer service and deliveries to grow the business.

Liu helped build a logistics system for JD.com so that its 1 billion customers could get items delivered reliably. From 2007 to 2004, the company launched thousands of pickup and delivery stations across two-thirds of China. It thrived because it bought items directly from suppliers and sold them to shoppers, guaranteeing authenticity. JD.com is the biggest retailer in China according to revenue and a major global business. Richard Liu has been recognized by Fortune Magazine and received numerous awards.

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