Richard Liu, also known as Richard Liu Qiangdong is the founder and the CEO of JD.com, the largest e-commerce platform in China. Currently, JD.com is worth close to $60 billion while Liu is reported to have accumulated a wealth of over $11 billion according to Forbes. Through the success of the JD.com, Liu has attracted major investors such as Walmart, which owns 12 percent of the JD.com. In 2017, JD.com invested in Farfetch with the aim of capitalizing on the opportunities in the luxury fashion industry.
Richard Liu graduated from the People’s University of China with a degree in sociology. However, he spent a lot of time studying computer programming and other computer science related disciplines. Upon graduation, Richard Liu secured employment with Japan Life, a health product company where he held a number of positions including those of director for business and director for computers.
In 1998, Richard Liu Qiangdong started a solo business by setting up a shop to sell computer accessories. His first business was known as “Jingdong” after his name and that of his first girlfriend. In by 2003, Jingdong owned 12 stores all dealing with computer accessories. However, at the same time, there was a SARS outbreak that forced workers and customers to remain home-bound. Due to this outbreak, businesses were affected forcing Liu to reconsider the mode of operating his business. In 2004, Jingdong transitioned into an e-commerce business and renamed JD.com. Richard Liu closed all the physical stores to focus on e-commerce exclusively.
Richard Liu Qiangdong was determined to make a difference in the industry by establishing a business that would correct the mistakes of other businesses that existed and before. He noticed that many businesses that were doing e-commerce before used to engage in business malpractice such as priced cheating and fake items. Richard Liu created the difference by investing in quality consumer goods sold at the right price.
In 2014, Tencent, the owner of WeChat acquired a 15 percent stake in JD.com. However, the deal involved JD.com using WeChat social network to market its services to over a billion active WeChat users. In the same year, JD.com went public in the United States under NASDAQ.
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