Over the past few decades, JD.com has become the largest e-commerce retailer in China, which also has made it one of the largest worldwide. During this time, the retail giant has gone on to create a userbase of over 100 million people and is continually adding more products to its inventory. On top of this, it has recently been estimated by Forbes to be worth $11 billion. Furthermore, it shows no sign of slowing down this growth anytime soon. The man behind the business since it was founded has been Richard Liu Qiangdong, who recently spoke at the World Economic Forum about his experience growing the business.
The journey to success was quite a long one for Richard Liu, as he was born into a relatively low-income family. However, this instilled in him the value of hard work and a decent education. Because of this, Richard Liu Qiangdong went to the Renmin University in China and graduated with a degree in Sociology, with his interest in the area being driven by his interest in politics. After graduation, however, he soon realized that this wouldn’t be a path so a significant income; this was something that mattered to Qiangdong, as he wanted to be able to take care of his family.
As a result, he studied computer science and worked with a variety of different companies over the next few years. However, he had an entrepreneurial itch that needed to be scratched; as such, he set out on his own and established his first storefront. This proved to be quite a success, which led to a dozen more stores being opened across Beijing. However, a SARS outbreak put the breaks on this expansion and forced Richard Liu Qiangdong to change strategies. As a result, he slowly began shifting his business online; after a few years, he had closed each of his stores and had begun selling them online. Noting the website’s popularity, other retailers began approaching Richard Liu to partner with him. This led to the formation of JD.com, which has continued to grow in the years since and has consistently added more and more products to its inventory.
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