With a net worth of $7.3 billion according to Forbes, Richard Liu Qiangdong rose through the ranks as a result of the success of his business, JD.com, which became one of the largest e-commerce platforms that China has to offer – with the company being wroth close to $60 billion. What started out as a small business in China’s tech hub ended up becoming one of the largest IPO of 2014 when the company became public and was listed on NASDAQ – 15% of the company was acquired in 2014 by Tencent for the sum of $215 million.
Richard Liu was born in China and graduated from the People’s University of China, receiving his degree in sociology. During his student years, the future entrepreneur would spend time honing his skills in areas such as computer programming and coding. These skills would come in handy to him once he finished his studies, as he became a part of Japan Life, which is an herbal supplement company. He became a Director of Computers and Service, but he left the company in order to venture out on his own.
Richard Liu established his shop in Beijing, selling magneto-optical products. Despite the small space that was rented for the store, his business ended up being successful, and by 2013 the shop turned into a chain of 12 stores. However, as a result of the SARS outbreak which forced staff and customers to stay at home, Richard Liu shifted gears, changing his approach to business in order to save his company. By 2004, all 12 stores were closed, and the company moved online – which was the birth of JD.com.
The online realm proved to be beneficial to the company, with it achieving success and nowadays being a go-to site for 300 million active users. Richard Liu Qiangdong continues to focus on the company’s development, with JD.com featuring a large fleet of drones designated for delivery services, enabling the company to provide same-day or next-day delivery. The continuous success in China allowed JD.com to turn towards expanding, with the company looking to Thailand, Southeast Asia, but also Europe and other locations.