JD.com, also known as JD or Jingdong, is an e-commerce retailer based in China. Currently the third-largest such platform in the country, Jingdong was created as a brick-and-mortar business in a shopping complex in Beijing, China, by Richard Liu Qiangdong in 1998.
Today, the business is worth about $60 billion, employs nearly a quarter-million people, and trades its common stock on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. Liu also hasn’t done too shabby for himself, amassing upwards of $10 billion in net worth, says Forbes, in the past 21 years of leading the company.
Richard Liu Qiangdong’s humble beginnings
In 1996, the soon-to-be entrepreneur came out of the Renmin University of China’s undergraduate sociology program with a four-year degree. The next year, Richard Liu Qiangdong bagged a master’s of business administration from the China Europe International Business School.
Liu then tried to found a restaurant, though he miserably failed. Thinking that he wasn’t made out for entrepreneurship, Richard Liu found employment at Japan Life, a health and beauty company, for two years. He quit his position at Japan Life in 1998 and created Jingdong.
Richard Liu found a storefront retail outlet in a busy area of Beijing that had a floor space of no greater than four square meters. Although Jingdong might not have sounded too promising, its prospects skyrocketed over the next half-decade.
Expansion, a SARS outbreak, and new beginnings
By 2003, Jingdong had expanded into a multi-store enterprise. At the time, Liu’s creation had 12 outlets. Shortly after its fifth anniversary, however, China experienced a serious SARS outbreak. Get More Information Here.
SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, is a serious illness that can result in death. Further, it spreads quickly. Many of Richard Liu Qiangdong’s employees got sick or refused to show up to work. Sales decreased at outlets that did have enough employees on hand.
Liu felt that he needed to change Jingdong’s means of doing business in order to stay afloat. In 2004, shortly after the SARS outbreak struck all of China, Mr. Liu began selling computer accessories online at JDLaser.com. The site would later become JD.com.
More about Richard Liu Qiangdong on https://www.therichest.com/celebnetworth/celebrity-business/men/liu-qiangdong-net-worth/