Richard Liu

Richard Liu, born Liu Qiangdong, is the founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce leader With a net worth of over $12.7 billion as of early 2018, Liu spearheads China's leading online shopping platform, which became the largest IPO of the year at the time of its 2014 listing on NASDAQ. As an entrepreneur and business owner, Liu utilizes his perfected skills to further propel the growth of the company that he built from the ground up.

Early Life

Born in China's Jiangsu province, in the town of Suqian, Richard Liu enjoyed a traditional upbringing. As the son of coal-shipping parents, he excelled throughout his formative years in the realm of education. Eventually, he attended The People's' University of China, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology. Throughout his time at university, he became vastly interested in computer coding, and recognized the value that these skills could bring professionally in the future.

Upon matriculation, Richard Liu entered the professional workforce with an entry level position at Japan Life, a large-scale natural supplement purveyor. There, he parlayed his newly minted skills, and quickly rose to the position of Director of Computers. Liu remained an exemplary employee, until his entrepreneurial calling beckoned him to venture forward as a small business owner.

Business Ownership and Growth

Following his successful stint at Japan Life for two years, Richard Liu opened his first retail store in June 1998, in the "tech hub" of Beijing, the Zhongguancun High-tech Industrial Park. Under the name Jingdong, Liu sold magneto-optical products, and focused on differentiating himself from competition by focusing on quality, authentic products. Throughout this time, many manufacturers were distributing counterfeit products. Thus, Richard Liu sold only authorized products, and ensured the highest quality of goods were being associated with his brand. This approach, along with a customer service centric business model, allowed the company to enjoy continued growth. In a span of only five years, Liu successfully opened, and operated, a total of twelve Jingdong outposts.

In 2003, China's SARS outbreak changed the trajectory of the business completely, and accounted for an estimated 8 million yuan loss for Liu. Throughout the height of the outbreak, public fear of being exposed to the virus accounted for people changing their shopping habits, and spearheaded the rise of e-commerce, even for reluctant first-time online shoppers who previously rejected the growing notion of an online marketplace. Liu recognized this shift in the manner in which business was being conducted, and proactively chose to take his wares to the realm of e-commerce.

The following year, Liu launched the first iteration of the global juggernaut now known as, initially dubbed 360Buy Jingdong. Initially, he sold the same products as his brick and mortar locations, which all closed by 2005. Liu continued to develop proprietary e-commerce platforms, and focused on providing exemplary customer service for this new shopping model. He developed algorithms to provide a seamless customer transaction, perfected interfacing inventory that updated in real-time, and eventually set up the world's largest fleet of drones to provide same-day or next-day delivery services to a population of over one billion individuals. Richard Liu, along with other business owners, recognized the sheer value in the business model behind what was then already known as, and he began to forge relationships with other manufacturers that wanted to sell their authenticated wares on his platform.

Accomplishments and Accolades

By leveraging the incredibly positive public reputation of the burgeoning, Richard Liu was able to solidify partnerships with some of the biggest international companies, bringing otherwise rare product to the Chinese market. With continued annual growth, JD applied to go public as a company in the United States in early 2014, making JD the largest Chinese IPO to be traded on NASDAQ then. On May 22, 2014, the date of JD's IPO, the company's stock rose by roughly 15%, making the transition to a publicly traded company a fruitful one. Since the company has gone public, it has gained alliances from shareholders like Tencent, and Walmart.

For Richard Liu, the self-made billionaire, the success of JD has monumentally impacted his own wealth. In January of 2018, Forbes has estimated Liu's net worth to be $12.7 billion US dollars.

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