Alternatively known as Richard Liu, Liu Qiangdong is among the top titans in China’s online market. In early 2018, Liu’s overall net worth stood at $12.7 billion. Richard Liu is the CEO and founder of JD.com, a leading retail firm in China.
Since its establishment, JD.com has made remarkable strides, thanks to Richard’s commitment to exceptional leadership. Currently, JD.com ranks third among the largest retail firms worldwide. In 2019, the company had an estimated annual revenue of $82.9 billion.
Liu Qiangdong was born in 1973 in Chang’an Village, within the Jiangsu Province of China. His parents were peasant farmers cum coal shippers. They transported coal from the northern regions of China to Southern China. Most times, Richard Liu lived under the care of his grandmother.
During his early days, life was pretty difficult for Richard’s family. Despite being born in the 1970s, his village lacked basic amenities, including water, electricity, and proper roads. Often, Richard’s family survived on sweet potatoes and corn. Pork was a special and occasional meal for his family.
Richard Liu is a descendant of renowned ship owners. Before the onset of communism, his family worked as transporters within the Yangtze River and the Beijing-Hangzhou canal. With the rise of communism in the 1940s, his family lost most of its wealth and resettled.
Richard Liu always had an insatiable yearning for education and knowledge. He yearned to make a difference for himself and his family. Additionally, he had an unquenchable thirst for exploring the world cities.
Richard earned a place at prestigious The People’s University for his undergraduate studies, where he pursued Sociology. He developed an interest in the tech field during this time, particularly in computer coding and programming.
Upon graduating, Richard secured an entry-level job at Japan Life, a firm specializing in herbal supplements. During his stint at Japan Life, Richard earned a promotion to become the computer and service director. Additionally, Rich garnered crucial skills, especially in leadership and management. He later joined the China Europe International Business School, where he pursued an EMBA.
In June 1998, Richard set out to venture into his own business, Jingdong Company. He rented a 4-sq-meter stall in China’s tech district, where he sold magneto-optic items. Richard Liu was outstanding for his authentic products. Moreover, his products had price stickers, thus building trust among his clients. Richard also emphasized on providing a smooth and convenient customer-experience for his clients. His business made immense progress within such a short time. In five years, Jingdong was a thriving firm and had twelve brick and mortar outlets in 3 big cities.
However, Jingdong was struck massively by the 2003 SARS epidemic. The firm faced a significant decline in sales and eventually shut its stores. Jingdong shifted entirely to online operations. Richard Liu launched 360Buy in 2004, the pioneer e-commerce platform in China.
In 2014, 360Buy adopted the domain name JD.com. By then, this firm had risen the ranks to become an unbeaten e-commerce giant in China. Under Richard Liu’s leadership, JD.com has made tremendous development. Currently, JD.com has more than 150,000 workers and over 300 million customers.
JD.com boasts of a loyal client base, with 90% of deliveries arriving within the same or next day. Critical focus on exemplary supply chain management is among the primary distinguishing factors for this e-commerce firm.
Throughout his career, Richard Liu has won various awards in China and globally. In 2011, he won the China Economic Person of the Year accolade. Other recognitions include the Chinese Business Leader (2011) and Chinese Businessman (2012). In 2018, Richard ranked 140th in the 2018 Forbes list of billionaires.