Richard Liu is a Chinese businessman and he is the founder of JD.com. He started his business in 1998 in a small alleyway in Beijing’s Dongzhimen shopping district. Liu grew up in a poor rural family in China. Both of his parents worked in factories. His parents paid the school fees for Liu and his siblings as they were too poor to afford them.
Liu’s parents had difficulty affording food, so he was taken to a school and hospital owned by one of his relatives, where he learned about medicine. In his teenage, Liu Qiangdong worked in a grocery store while studying at Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University.
While in college, Richard Liu invented an online shopping platform called “Jing Dong Bao” (or “Gold Crumb Basket”) that allowed buyers to purchase goods on the site, and JD was born. Today, JD.com is the second-largest online retailer in China with over 500 million customers, with over one billion products for sale, spanning over 70,000 stores in 24 countries. The company owns more than 80% of its equity and is also the largest shareholder in its parent company, JD.com.
Since its founding, Qiangdong has striven to create a leading business and a more ethical and transparent one. The idea is to ensure that the way JD.com operates is founded on trust, is transparent, and ensures it operates based on the rule of law. Like any startup, JD saw its share price crash over its first few years, only to see it rebound following aggressive acquisitions and acquisitions.
The company has also grown through a series of equity and debt financings that have left it with a war chest of $24 billion to pursue its plans. By 2000, Liu had built his own delivery business, with a revenue stream of 7 billion yuan that year. In comparison, the United States’ retail market only amounts to $3.6 trillion, or about 14 percent of the global retail market. At this stage, e-commerce makes up about 10 percent of the retail market, in part due to a lack of reliable supply chain infrastructure in China. See related link for additional information.
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