Richard Liu Qiangdong is the CEO of JD.com which is a Chinese e-retailing firm. This year’s Forbes Magazine’s issue estimated that JD.com is worth close to $58 billion, while he owns other assets worth approximately $11 billion. Most people think that Richard pursued a business course while he was in university.
Well, that is just a mere assumption as he is a sociology graduate from the Chinese Renmin University. After graduating, he hardly practiced sociology as he was employed as a coding freelancer, after which he enrolled for a Master’s degree in business administration at the China Europe International Business School. He then worked for two years in Japan for a pharmaceutical firm as a director in charge of all computers and business.
In 1998, he opened up a shop that dealt with magneto-optical products in Beijing, China. He named his business Jingdong and his company picked up so fast and became famous at the same time. However, in 2004, there was an outbreak of a respiratory disease that made his customers quite inactive as they preferred remaining at home. This affected his business negatively since even his staff feared for their lives and opted to stay at home.
Richard then came up with the idea of handling his business online so that he could still access his customers and even more, regardless of the surrounding conditions. This, therefore, saw the creation of JD.com, where Richard closed down about 13 of his physical stalls to focus on the online business platform. He felt so motivated since he could now not just limit himself to selling magneto-optic products but also other electronics.
With now close to two decades of online business presence, Richard Liu has not only gained experience, but he has also grown to understand both the online and physical markets better. In his interviews, he says that he just leaped faith that his business would thrive and thus far he is so grateful he chose to start his business.
He also says that he has been coming up with strategies that will help protect his business from big competitors such as the Chinese online store Alibaba. JD.com has been striving to expand its market, and a recent acquisition by Tencent, the WeChat’s owner, of 15% of $215 million has helped the firm gain popularity not only in China but also in the United States. WeChat has been doing an excellent job at promoting Richard Liu’s company. Click here