JD.com is China’s fabulously popular e-commerce giant. It wasn’t always, though. Richard Liu started the company in 1998 as a humble store in Beijing. Primarily, the store distributed magnetic components that are used in making eyewear. By 2003, the company had grown into 12 stores and was making millions of dollars in revenue a year. By 2004, Richard Liu developed an online storefront. 2007 is when Richard Liu began to realize the potential profit that could be had from a well-functioning logistical network. Thus, from this point onwards, JD.com was focused on developing a delivery system that worked better than anyone else’s. This is what sets JD.com apart from other online stores.

The biggest issue for China regarding package delivery was rural areas. Urban deliveries were easy and cheap, as the population was densely packed and able to move around. In rural areas, people often had to travel several towns over to buy essentials. Furthermore, people in these towns often weren’t eligible for product deliveries. Richard Liu sought to change this. By changing the reliance on third companies, JD.com switched fully over to company-owned means of delivery. This made even the most rural deliveries more affordable for the company.

Most e-commerce companies are a platform for outside delivery companies and sellers to sell goods. On JD.com, all products on the site are sourced by the company itself. Additionally, all deliveries are handled by the JD team. This vertical market integration allows the company to be more profitable for the owners, but also a better experience for most customers. Despite the massive success of his company, Liu Qiangdong is regarded as one of the most humble and realistic CEOs. Finally, he spends at least one day each year working as a JD delivery driver, to ensure that they have good working conditions.

About Liu Qiangdong: www.jd.id/liu-qiangdong-jd-ceo-about