Liu Qiangdong is the founder and the current Chief Executive Officer of JD.com. Thanks to his leadership, JD.com has become one of China’s highest-grossing internet-based companies and the largest online retailer. As a fact, it is estimated that the company’s e-commerce platform is worth more than $57.6 billion.
Liu Qiangdong’s journey as a successful businessman dates back to the early 1990s while he was still a student at the Renmin University of China pursuing sociology. While still a student at the institution, Liu spent most of his free time doing freelance coding jobs and honing his programming and computer skills. Liu’s desire to pay attention to his coding skills was triggered by the presence of limitations in his business career. As a result, he strived to improve his skills and garner more skills to make his candidature stand out in a competitive yet untouched market. Upon completing his undergraduate sociology course, he enrolled for an EMBA at China Europe International Business School.
After graduating from China Europe International Business School, Liu got his first job as a director of business and director of computers at Japan Life, an online company that dealt with the production and sale of healthy foods and health goods. It was at this company that Liu had his first encounter with online entrepreneurship.
In 1998, Liu Qiangdong ventured into self-employment by opening Jingdong, a small brick and mortar shop that dealt with the sale of magneto-optical products. Within five years, the company had grown, and by this time, it had 12 stores. However, as fate would have it, the SARS pandemic struck in 2004, threatening the existence of Liu’s business. It was during these trying times that Liu recognized the advantage of having an online store. This idea would eventually lead to the birth of JD.com.
Thanks to Liu Qiangdong’s experience in marketing, he has overseen the growth of JD.com to the extent of becoming China’s first company to be traded publicly on the NASDAQ trading floor.