Richard Liu Qiangdong: How I Built JD.Com

Richard Liu Qiangdong often referred to as Liu Quingdong, is one of the richest men in China, with an emphatic story behind his success. Richard Liu gets much attention from the business world, not only because he is a billionaire investor, but also because he is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of China’s largest retailer, JD.com. According to Forbes, Richard Liu’s e-commerce empire is worth a whopping $57.6 billion and continues to grow rapidly as Jingdong works to becoming the largest online retailer on the globe.

Liu ’s journey is emblematic of the rags-to-riches story, as he once made a living taking on random coding gigs, having taught himself how to program. It is by virtue of his relentless determination that JD.com is the king of retail today, having survived harsh economic times and still managed to pick up and prosper. This was in 2003 when there was a SARS outbreak that effectively rendered human interaction redundant, forcing Richard Liu to close down 12 of his shops.

For any other average entrepreneur, being forced to shut down physical locations of a business that thrives on human interaction spells doom, but Richard Liu Qiangdong saw it as an opportunity to think out of the box. After bouncing off ideas with like-minded professionals, Richard Liu came up with the idea of taking business online, and that was the genesis of Jingdong.

At the time, the e-commerce sector was flooded with fraudulent entities that sold counterfeit items while nickel and diming their customers every chance they got. As Richard Liu knew how important ethics, honesty, and accountability are in a business model, he modeled his business alongside these strong fundamental values and designed a customer-eccentric business model. It is no wonder that, today, JD.com is one of the most trusted retailers all over the world with sales well over the billion mark.

Before Richard Liu founded Jingdong, he worked as the head of business and head of computers at Japan Life; a reputable health product company. He scored the job after completing his EMBA from the China Europe International Business School. This was in addition to his Sociology degree, which he had attained at Renmin University of China. It was after working for two years at Japan Life, that he branched out on his own to open a magneto-optics store in Beijing. He did good business and grew the venture into the largest retailer in China, JD.com.

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