For a lot of consumers, JD.com did not come into existence until 2005 when they opened their online shop. Many of them did not know that the company had enjoyed a previous existence as a brick-and-mortar store with over a dozen locations. The break-and-mortar store had been dubbed Jingdong Mall and was run by the charismatic founder Richard Liu Qiangdong. Richard Liu talks about those early days with JD.com as a brick-and-mortar location in his interview with Weforum.org and how it grew to become one of China’s biggest online retailers for a variety of products.
One of the most interesting things about the growth of JD.com is that the original Jingdong Mall was not a purveyor of such an extensive list of items. They were mostly focused on very specific technology products. Richard Liu Qiangdong started the company in 1998 because he needed to make money for his family. He had a lot of people depending on him and he needed to make the education that he received and past experiences that he had gained in business work for him. As he is speaking to the interviewer, he explains that Jingdong Mall was very important to him personally, but he also wanted it to be a sound company for the community.
When he moved the company online and his goals were no different. He talks a lot about how it was paramount to him that the company remains an honest entity in an anonymous retail market online. While he was forced to move online because of the SARS outbreak from the previous year, Richard Liu Qiangdong found that it was a wonderful place for a company like Jingdong Mall. He compressed the company name down to the initials JD.com and started working on providing consumers with a variety of categories that would fill their needs. Today this is one of the reasons why JD.com is so successful. They engaged the growth opportunity that they were given and push for something better. Richard Liu explains that the company is still pushing for better options and will likely move into a more global presence in the coming years.