Business Expert E-commerce

Richard Liu’s Leadership

JD.COM founder Richard Liu Qiangdong was born in the 1970s to a family that lacked modern conveniences such as running water and electricity since they were rice farmers.

Liu Qiangdong, a well-connected boy from an average background with delusions of grandeur, realized how small his world was when he first saw a skyscraper while visiting Nanjing one summer. He became ambitious and dreamed of traveling the world to compare places such as Beijing, Paris, and New York.

For University, Richard practiced and excelled on the entrance exam, so he could get in to study sociology. During his time at University, he started learning to program. He also found a small job where it was mostly copying letters and documents and making some money. Programming is in high demand, so the small job did well for Liu because people would also trust him with leftover office work.

These events founded JD.COM in 1999 and became a national phenomenon in China, much like Black Friday in the United States.

A pandemic in China led to the closure of businesses, and Liu soon found himself out of work. He managed to save his business by taking products online, and after a long time, he was able to re-open his stores again. Meanwhile, he had an employee posting his product for him—leading the e-commerce industry by the end of the year.

At the time of’s inception in 2007, China did not have a logistics firm that could deliver products to all parts of the country. Instead, Liu’s logistics system delivered goods in good shape and reliably, creating innovation in China and transforming retail and e-commerce for one billion users. is China’s largest online direct sales company. had a 54.3 percent market share in 2014 and was traded on NASDAQ on May 22, 2014. JD’s IPO price rose 15 percent during Richard Liu’s leadership. By 2016, JD was listed on Fortune 500 and the third-largest Chinese internet company globally.

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