Richard Liu Explains JD.com Beginnings

During an interview with Richard Liu at the World Economic Forum annual meeting, Richard Liu gave insight into the development of his success with JD.com, how he views his success, and future outlooks. Richard gave a story of how he began JD.com in 1998. He revealed, with embarrassment, that he created the name of JD.com based on his first name and his wife’s last name since she was his first love. Today, JD.com is one of China’s largest e-commerce company which encompasses approximately 167,000 employees and worth around $57.6 billion USD.

Richard Liu shared how he was involved in business since he was young. His parents owned a small business where they would wait at a canal and transport people. Then in college, he opened his own restaurant, but it failed because of his time commitment as a third-year student. After Richard Liu graduated, he opened a dozen stores selling computer accessories in order to pay for his grandmother’s medical care who was facing health problems. However, Richard Liu was forced to close his stores down because of the SARS epidemic that broke out in southern China. It became too risky to meet a lot of customers in person. Richard did not want his managers to get affected, but they also needed a way to survive. Therefore, they all gathered together to brainstorm and came to the conclusion that they should sell their products online. After carrying out their idea for two years, they found that doing business online was more cost efficient and gave the customer a better experience. This led Richard to believe that e-commerce was going to be the trend for the future.

Richard believes that what made his company successful in 2004 was that he deviated from selling counterfeited products and set up a proper voicemail system which other businesses were not doing. JD.com also provides customers with the benefit of having their product delivered to them within an average of 6 hours in China.

Richard Liu is now seeking to place JD.com as number one in market value among internet companies related to online business in China.