Liu Qiangdong is a Chinese businessman who built China's leading e-commerce platform, JD.com. The company, now worth more than $12 billion, changed the way that people in China shop. With Liu Qiangdong still at the helm as JD.com's CEO, the company has a bright future and is poised to expand throughout Asia, Europe, and beyond.
He was born in the town of Suqian in China's Jiangsu province. His parents, who were in the coal-shipping business, taught him the values that laid the groundwork for his current success. He learned at a young age to value hard work, to seek a good education, and to strive to excel in whatever he did. At the People's University of China he studied sociology and earned his bachelor's degree. Even as a young student, he had the foresight to see the tremendous potential of the internet. In addition to his formal studies, he also taught himself computer programming and learned all he could about e-commerce, an industry that was just getting started at the time.
After graduating from college, Liu Qiangdong got a job at the herbal-supplement company Japan Life. He quickly worked his way up to become Director of Computers, but he dreamed of starting his own business. He built a business from the bottom up, renting a single retail space in Beijing to sell magneto-optical goods. The business thrived because of his dedication, drive, and commitment to selling authentic, high-quality goods. Soon it expanded into a chain of 12 retail stores.
At that time, there was an outbreak of the contagious disease, SARS. People started avoiding going to public places where many other people would be around and instead retreated to their homes. Liu Qiangdong turned what could have been a problem for his business into a tremendous opportunity by setting up a platform for online shopping. Within two years, he had successfully transitioned the company, then called Jingdong, from brick-and-mortar to the internet. Liu Qiangdong recognized the many untapped opportunities that e-commerce provides. He formed new partnerships with prestigious companies from around the world to sell quality products that were in high demand.
The company, now called JD.com, provides an irresistible mix of everyday essentials, luxury goods, and brand-name items. It provides an outstanding customer experience and has become famous for its fast delivery and user-friendly interface. Liu Qiangdong continues to use cutting-edge technology to solve supply-chain and distribution problems and to streamline operations. JD.com now has more than 300 million active customers and attracts new customers every day.