Not many entrepreneurs can successfully bounce back from a national health crisis. When most cities fall ill, companies suffer too much loss to recover. When SARS struck China in 2003, thousands of companies went out of business because face-to-face contact became too dangerous.
Some companies figured out to move their business online, but many didn’t have the resources and knowledge to make the transition. With brick-and-mortar stores failing, e-commerce offered China an open market with no dominant forces. Immediately, China became the largest e-commerce-based economy in the world. Many of the nation’s sharpest entrepreneurs turned their companies into multi billion-dollar companies.
One such entrepreneur was Richard Liu Qiangdong, Founder and CEO of JD.com. Today, JD.com generates $57 billion in revenue. Liu Qiangdong’s net worth is an estimated $11 billion, according to Forbes. JD.com also has international shareholders like Walmart, which owns 12 percent of the company.
In 2014, WeChat made a deal with JD.com to promote the company on its site after Tencent bought 15 percent of JD.com for over $200 million. Though JD.com is a multibillion-dollar company, Liu Qiangdong wants to grow his company larger. Last year, he invested nearly $400 million in a luxury fashion brand called Farfetch.
In 1998, Liu Qiangdong opened a little store in Beijing that only sold magneto-optical products. He named his company “Jingdong” after combining part of his name with part of his then-girlfriend’s name. Jingdong quickly became a success, and he opened 11 more stores by 2003. See This Article for more information.
Sadly, 2003 was the same year that SARS spread throughout the nation, forcing Liu Qiangdong to close many of his stores. With options looking gloom, Liu Qiangdong looked for ways to save his stores. He couldn’t overcome people’s house-bound lifestyles SARS forced on China.
And seeing what some other business owners were doing, Liu decided to move JD.com into the e-commerce platform. He closed all 12 of his stores in 2005 and focused all his efforts on growing his company’s online presence.
In an article on AACSB.edu, Liu was listed as one of the “Most Influential Leaders”. As a testament to Liu’s admirable business practices, he has received numerous national and international awards for his entrepreneurship, business influence, innovation, and leadership.
More about Richard Liu Qiangdong on https://www.wealthx.com/dossier/qiangdong-liu/