Richard Liu, also known as Liu Qiangdong, is the founder and chief executor of JD.com, one of China’s largest e-commerce platforms. Liu has become an internet celebrity in China known for his wealth and success at a young age.
In the interview, Richard Liu talks about his e-commerce business and gives some background on the start and growth of his business. Liu Qiangdong first gives some background on himself and his prior business ventures. He explains how he went to college in Beijing and started a restaurant business which ultimately failed. Following this venture, he decided to start a retail business in 1998. He eventually opened 10-12 physical stores selling computer parts. At the time, he wanted to start this business to help his family who did not have a lot of money. His grandmother was ill and was unable to afford medical treatment. After the SARS epidemic in 2003, Liu Qiangdong had to close their 12 physical shops. After speaking with the other managers, they came up with a plan to move over to online retail.
After switching to the e-commerce business and first starting JD.com in 2004, Richard Liu realized that online sales were ultimately more cost-efficient and better for customers. He saw online businesses as the trend for the future. In order to be successful and compete with other online businesses, Liu Qiangdong made sure they were only selling high-quality products, were using proper invoices and receipts, and were providing the best customer service experience. In 2004, JD.com was mainly selling IT parts. Each year they began to add additional products. Currently, the business has the highest market value in China at around $60 billion. The company currently has around 167,000 employees.
JD.com delivers products globally, and guarantees high speed delivery. If shipping internationally, they take 10-15 business days. For shipments in China, around 60% of purchases are guaranteed to ship within 6 hours and 97% are guaranteed to ship within 20 hours. Their hottest products are food, consumer goods, and fashion accessories.
Richard Liu expresses his plans to expand their business by bringing high quality global products into China, and then expanding into Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the US.
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