Richard Liu Qiangdong is the founder of Jidouduo.com (JD.COM). He was born in a small rural village in China and raised in relatively poor circumstances. He committed to running his company honestly and well, and now it has grown into the 3rd largest retailer in the world. He believes in investing heavily in technology, especially artificial intelligence.
Prior to the communist revolution, Liu’s parents were prosperous merchants who traded goods along the Yangtse River. By the time he was born, they had become impoverished farmers living in poverty. Liu Qiangdong was born during the Cultural Revolution in China when there weren’t any conveniences such as running water, power, or roadways.
It took him four years after applying to university to be accepted into one of the most prestigious Chinese universities. Unfortunately for him, however, it wasn’t easy to travel from his hometown in central China to the larger city where his university sat. When he graduated from high school, his parents couldn’t afford to pay for his train fare to Beijing. Luckily, some of his friends and neighbors were able to contribute enough money so that his entire journey wouldn’t be too expensive.
After studying sociology to enter politics, Richard Liu found that having class assignments, homework, and exams took up most of his time, so he switched to computer science. Qiangdong started programming computers because he could see how valuable computers would be in daily life.
When the SARS outbreak occurred, Liu’s businesses suffered greatly since almost everyone stopped coming into their stores for fear of contracting the disease. To help counter this problem, JD.com created an online platform that allows people to shop safely and securely without leaving their homes. See related link for more information.
Over the next few years, Richard Liu grew his business steadily and eventually opened up another store specializing in high-end electronics. He took advantage of China’s booming e-commerce industry and began selling products. JD.com became an official online store which gave them access to millions of customers.
Find more information about Richard Liu on https://medium.com/@liurichard