Richard Liu Qiangdong is the founder and CEO of one of China’s largest e-commerce platforms. He is a successful entrepreneur who rose from being the owner of a computer accessory business to be one of China’s richest individuals with an estimated worth of $12 billion. His entrepreneurial interests dates back to when he was in college. In World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, the entrepreneur revealed more about the company and himself.

While in college, Richard Liu Qiangdong juggled studies with running a catering business. The business failed, an outcome he attributes to his dedication to studies depriving him of time to manage the business. Later, his family was in a financial turmoil and his grandmother needed urgent medical care but she could not be accorded the care courtesy of the financial challenges. Amidst these challenges, Richard Liu embarked on an entrepreneurial journey in 1998 when he started a computer accessory business in Beijing.

The business was located in what is now called China’s technology hub in Beijing. The business thrived and within five years, the business had expanded into twelve branches dealing with the same line of products. The computer accessory business was flourishing until the 2003 SARS outbreak forced Richard Liu Qiangdong to close the stores down to prevent employees from contracting the disease. The occurrence turned out to be a fateful development when an idea of selling online struck him.

Richard Liu started selling digital electronics, mobile phones, and IT equipment online. The business picked up and at that time, e-commerce was kind of ‘chaotic’. Counterfeit products were common making shoppers to shy away from online shopping. Richard Liu Qiangdong decided that he would only sell authenticated products. He also started offering invoices on purchases to gain trust of shoppers who grew wary of e-commerce because of fraud.

The successful entrepreneur launched JD.COM in 2004 officially. By 2010, the platform had almost everything shoppers could ever need. With an estimated worth of $60 billion, JD.COM has provided shoppers an opportunity to shop everything they need ‘under one roof’ and the products delivered to them within 3 hours in Beijing and 6 hours in other places. Richard Liu is now expanding the business throughout the Middle East with an intention of eventually making the platform the largest e-commerce platform in the world eventually.

About Liu Qiangdong: