Richard Liu Qiangdong talked about his company, JD.com at this year’s edition of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, bringing up the early beginning of his business, the current state of it, and future plans for expansion. Liu is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of one of China’s largest e-commerce platforms, JD.com, a business worth $60 billion. Liu’s success in the world of retail made him a billionaire, having a net worth of $11 billion according to Forbes.
Liu graduated from the Renmin University of China with a degree in sociology, and also earned an EMBA from the China Europe International Business School. Richard Liu Qiangdong opened his own store in 1998, due o the fact that his family’s business was not going well and they needed to pay for medical care for his grandmother, and he did not have the necessary money to set up a business abroad. His 4 square meter store sold computer accessories and proved to be a successful business. By 2003 he expanded his operations to 12 stores, but because of the SARS outbreak that forced his staff and customers to remain house-bound, he had to close all his stores by the end of 2004.
Out of necessity, Richard Liu started retailing online, and recognized that the logistics costs were lower and that e-commerce was trend for the future. Initially, the platform sold IT products and mobile phones, due to the limited amount of cash, but every year they kept adding new products. Nowadays, the company has 500 logistics centers and 167,000 employees, the platform’s most popular products being consumer goods, foods, and fashion-related items. Go To This Page to learn more.
Regarding the expansion of JD.com outside of China, Liu considers that it will take several steps, the first of which is bringing the best products to China, and then expanding to Southeast Asia, followed by the Middle East, Europe, and with American being the final goal. He brings up the fact that in the past it was thought that American companies have a difficult time breaking into the Chinese market, but he believes that nowadays the roles have reversed, and that it is more difficult for Chinese companies to break into the United States market.