The Business of Fashion documents Richard Liu Qiangdong as one of the most successful personalities in the business world. Liu is a senior executive at Jd.com, an online store he established out of an ordinary IT shop. At present, Richard Liu Qiangdong’s JD.com stands among the best online stores in Asia. It sells the business to business solutions to thousands of brick and mortar shops, and it supplies multiple consumer products. In an event organized by the World Economic Forum (We Forum), Richard Liu disclosed how he grew his business empire.
As stated by We Forum, Richard Liu Qiangdong stepped into the business world in 1998, after completing his sociology studies. He opened a restaurant, but, he closed it down after a few years. After closing down the restaurant, Richard Liu opened a computer accessory shop. Within a few years, Liu Qiangdong opened similar shops in over ten different locations within the capital city of China. Richard Liu Qiangdong focused on establishing a business that could help him generate enough funds to clear his grandmother’s medical expenses. However, in 2004, he was forced to close down his computer shop due to the SARS outbreak.
The Chinese government advised its citizens to remain indoors as a way to minimize the transmission of SARS. Unlike the less determined entrepreneurs who closed down permanently, Richard Liu Qiangdong used the disease outbreak as an opportunity to launch his online shop. Liu’s online shop sold all consumer goods. People could place orders from their home, and receive the goods within a short time. In fact, most consumers in Beijing got their orders within one day. Unlike its rivals, Richard Liu Qiangdong made sure that customers received exactly what they ordered. Moreover, Liu’s store sourced its goods directly from the manufacturer or reputable intermediaries. This culture protected JD.com’s customers from purchasing counterfeits.