In recent years, JD.com has been the largest e-commerce retailer in China, with a reported 100 million users. Founder Richard Liu Qiangdong has noted on several occasions, however, this wasn’t an easy journey, and there were a few different turns and challenges throughout this time. One of the first of these was the fact that Liu Qiangdong initially hadn’t planned on breaking into the retail world. Instead, opted to enter the Sociology program at the People’s University of China. After graduating, he realized that it wasn’t a career path that he was interested in.
Because of that, he began studying Computer Science and was soon working for a variety of companies as a freelance coder. This then led to an IT position with Japan Life; after a relatively short amount of time, Richard Liu Qiangdong had been promoted to Director of Computers with the nutritional supplement giant. Despite this success, Qiangdong still wasn’t satisfied. This was because he had a passion to start a company of his own. Because of that, he left Japan Life and formed Jingdong. At the time, the company sold a limited range of magneto-optical products.
To stand out, Richard Liu Qiangdong placed a considerable amount of emphasis on high-quality customer service. This was something that worked to Jingdong’s benefit and soon began to expand; after only a few years, he had opened up another dozen stores. This rapid expansion was soon halted by a SARS outbreak, however. This made physical contact with customers increasingly more difficult, which soon began having a noticeable impact on sales. Because of this, Richard Liu began formulating an idea for what would eventually become JD.com.
Within a few years, Richard Liu Qiangdong had closed each of Jingdong’s physical locations and migrated each of his products onto JD.com. The closure of the stores was fueled by the website’s growing success, which was soon noticed by a variety of product manufacturers. This led to several partnerships, which led to a staggering number of products being added to the site in the following few years, which also helped fuel the company’s success.
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