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How JD.com Got Started, According To Richard Liu Qiangdong

Richard Liu Qiangdong is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of one of the biggest eCommerce platforms in China, JD.com. The company is currently worth approximately $57 billion, with Richard Liu having a net worth of $11 billion, according to Forbes. He attended Renmin University of China, earning a degree in sociology, and later earned an EMBA from the China Europe International Business School.

Richard Liu attended this year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, and talked about his early beginnings in the industry and how JD.com came to be. He ventured into the retail business in 1998, selling computer accessories out of a 4-square meter store. His business became more and more successful and by 2003 his company expanded to a total of 12 physical stores. Richard Qiangdong Liu – Bloomberg Billionaires profile. However, due to the SARS outbreak in China, with customers and staff being forced to remain at home, he had to close his stores and out of necessity he started retailing online.

By the end of 2004, all his stores were closed, and Richard Liu focused on eCommerce instead, realizing that eCommerce was the trend for the future, and that the logistics were much more budget-friendly. He felt that back when he started in the retail industry in 1998, the online medium was very chaotic. Once he decided to venture online, he took the decision to not sell any counterfeit products, and to provide a good customer experience. Due to the fact that initially they had a limited amount of money, JD.com was selling IT products, and every year they started adding new categories.

Nowadays, the company has approximately 167,000 employees, with 30,000 being added in 2017 alone. They have 500 logistics centers and can deliver around the world. According to Richard Liu, deliver to Beijing can take as little as 3h. 97% of deliveries in China take 10h, while 57% of deliveries take within 6h. Their most popular products are foods, consumer goods, and fashion related items. When talking about future plans of expansion, Liu noted that expansion will take several steps, bringing the best products to China and then expanding to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and ultimately America.

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