Richard Liu – An eCommerce Success Story

Richard Liu Qiangdong is the founder of JD.com. His story is an interesting one, as he really had no intention of creating the largest e-commerce online retailer in Japan when he first went into business. His aspirations were not so high, even though he always knew that the entrepreneurs path was his destiny, he rarely thought of the online business model in the early days.

What Does JD.com Specialize In?

According to Richard Liu, the eCommerce website sells everything. You can find products, appliances and even food items, much like Amazon. However, a significant difference between both these companies is that JD.com is privately held and primarily serves China. Delivering products to the most remote location in China in a matter of a few hours to a few days, JD.com has become renown throughout the world for its impressive logistics system.

The Beginnings

Richard Liu Qiangdong has not always had business success. In fact, like many other entrepreneurs, his first business venture failed and went “Belly Up” as he likes to say. His very first venture was a restaurant while still in college. It was a business that did not see a year. However, the experience taught him a great deal about running a business and allowed him to open his first computer accessory shop upon graduating from Beijing University. That one shop soon turned into 12, and soon Richard Liu had a small succesful enterprise. It was certainly enough to help pay for his grandmother’s medication (the reason for starting the shop in the first place).

Tragedy

Tragedy hit in 2004. The SARS epidemic was rampant in Beijing and Mr. Liu did not want any of his employees to fall sick, so he sent them home and temporarily closed the stores. Faced with revenue loss, Richard Liu needed to find a way to make sales without having a physical location, and that is when he decided to take his products to the world of online commerce. This led to the launch of the first JD.com website in 2004.

The Key to Richard Liu’s Success

Richard Liu knew that the key to standing out from his competition was to improve the delivery times of the products he sold. As such he developed an incredible logistics system which allows delivery of products in as little as 6 hours. Today, Mr. Liu sits as head of JD.com, a company that now has more than 100,000 employees and 500 distribution centers.

About Liu Qiangdong: ir.jd.com/liu-qiangdong-jd-ceo-about