Over the past decade or so, Richard Liu Qiangdong has been on his way to becoming the wealthiest man in China. This was chiefly because of the growth of his e-commerce platform JD.com, which has become the single largest online retailer in the country. Throughout this time, the company has grown to have 100 million monthly users, selling hundreds of millions of products every year. JD.com has grown to be so big that Forbes recently estimated that it was worth $12 billion, although its worth has continued to grow since then. However, every business has its beginnings, and for Richard Liu these beginnings were relatively humble.
Qiangdong managed to earn his way through the People’s University of China, graduating with a degree in Sociology. However, soon realizing he wouldn’t be able to make a significant living with the position, Richard Liu Qiangdong changed direction and began studying Computer Science. With this, he was able to begin a career as a freelance computer coder, which led him to a position with Japan Life, one of the largest natural supplement providers in the area. Richard Liu was able to quickly climb the ladder at the company and steadily grew to be the company’s Director of Computers, which was quite a feat at a young age. However, Qiangdong had long desired to start his own business; once he was financially able to, he took the risk and established a small store named Jiangdong.
While Jiangdong only sold a limited range of products, it quickly became known for Richard Liu Qiangdong’s customer service skills. This prompted the business to grow steadily, eventually expanding to include over a dozen more stores across Beijing city. However, this growth was halted when a SARS outbreak in China made contact with customers difficult. Because of this, Richard Liu was forced to move more and more of his business online, and eventually closed each of the stores. Despite this, the business continued to grow, which attracted the attention of more product developers. With that, partnerships soon began to be formed, with Qiangdong rebranding the website as JD.com and an increasing amount of goods being added to the e-commerce platform almost daily.
Learn More: corporate.jd.com/richard-liu-jd-ceo-about