China’ e-commerce industry is very busy all throughout the year and platforms are always willing to meet the dynamic demands of its consumers. While the industry has been dominated by the likes of Alibaba before, there are emerging platforms like JD.com that keeps the competition in the field healthy for both the retailers and the consumers.
Formerly known as 360buy and currently known as Jingdong, JD Inc. is one of China’s largest business-to-consumer retailers in China when accounting the transaction volume and total revenue. It is also a member of the Fortune Global 500 and it is currently a major competitor of Alibaba’s Tmall.
It has a diverse selection of products including electronics, computers and other personal goods. Since launching in 1998, the company was one of the early adopters of the digital age when it went online in 2004.
The mind behind it all is founder and CEO Richard Liu Qiangdong.
A Talk with Richard Liu
The CEO was recently seen at the previous World Economic Forum where he got the chance to talk about various topics including the humble beginnings of his company, his early start as an entrepreneur, and the things he has learned throughout his years as a corporate executive.
Unlike most top-tier CEOs, Richard Liu came from limited resources and he saw retail as a chance to turn his and his family’s life around. He and his family struggled financially during the mid-90s and that is when he started opening physical retail stores in China. These stores were the foundations of the current online retailing platform.
While the initial plan was a success, trouble hit his branches during the SARS outbreak in 2003. The risk of the infection spreading between his staff and the company’s customer was present.
In one of the company’s meetings, one manager opened the idea of going online as a solution to keep the company’s workflow consistent even if workers were off their physical stores.
In 2004, the CEO saw the potential in the e-commerce industry and he decided to go exclusively online.
Since the e-commerce industry was still emerging back then, he knew that he had to do something different to stand out.
Learning from his experiences online, the CEO added more transparency to transactions in the form of detailed invoices and receipts. Of course, he vowed to never sell any counterfeit products online.
Moving forward, the next goal for the e-commerce company is for it to become an internet company with the largest market value in China.
It is currently sitting behind Tencent and Badoo but the CEO believes that they will be capable of rising through the ranks in the next couple of years.
To do this, he understands that people need to see more worth in JD.com. Of course, a part of their path towards market dominance is by improving their product selection and customer service.
A Deeper Look at The Man Behind the E-Commerce Giant
According to publications, Richard Liu has a net worth of $11 billion.
He is an alumnus of the highly-acclaimed Renmin University of China, graduating with a degree in sociology in 1996. He, later on, acquired an EMBA from the China Europe International Business School.
Despite his chosen course, he spent most of his time doing freelance coding work to help develop his programming skills. After finishing his studies, he made use of his knowledge in commerce and programming by becoming a director for business and computers during his short stay at Japan Life.
The experience and knowledge he has accrued during his early years served as the solid foundation for the brand he now has.