How JD.Com Conquered the Online Retail Market


Richard Qiangdong Liu founded Jingdong and 360buy Ltd, a storefront business focusing on supplying magneto-optical products in 1998. The company grew rapidly in a few years, and by 2003, it had opened 12 chain stores in Shenyang, Beijing, and Shanghai, earning about USD 9 million in revenues annually. Due to the company’s success and the increasing popularity of e-commerce, Richard Liu decided to create an online version of the company in 2004. Consumers can access various products through the company’s mobile apps and website.

The Growth of JD.com
JD’s popularity kept rising since its creation, so Richard Liu started building a countrywide logistical system to facilitate safe product deliveries everywhere, foster innovation, and transform e-commerce and retail experience for the platform’s users. At the end of 2014, it opened 3210 pick-up and delivery stations in nearly two-thirds of the country’s counties.

The company’s transaction volume makes it China’s largest business that offers direct online sales; it had a 54.3% market share. Under Liu’s leadership, it made it to the NASDAQ list in 2014 and became China’s first online company to appear in the Fortune 500 companies in 2016. It is the country’s largest retailer and the third globally.

Vendors and consumers can conveniently purchase communication products, computers, appliances, household items, digital products, books, and garments from JD.com. In 2019, it tripled its net revenue from five years ago to renminbi 576.9 billion yuan. The 44% steady growth of net service income accounted for 11.5% of JD’s entire revenue.

The Fortune 500 List
JD ranked 102 in the 2020’s fortune global 500 lists, 37 places higher than 2019; this makes it the fifth consecutive year of appearance. Since its 366th rank in 2016, it has advanced by 264 places over the past five years. It also transitioned into the world’s leading tech-based supply chain and service provider offering healthcare, retail, property management, international businesses, cloud, and AI, logistics, technological, and insurance services.

In the 2020 Fortune China 500 list, JD.com ranked 13th, moving up four places and remained China’s largest retail and internet service company.

JD.com’s Success Drivers
Technology plays a significant role in the company’s business structure and development as it relies on its persistent development of technology based on the supply chain. The benefits of the technology keep the company thriving, managing to maintain the sector’s optimal level inventory turnover of 35 days. JD.com’s digital tech subsidiary, JD digits, helps physical and financial industries to improve digitization, intelligence, and internet levels by connecting them with digital technology.

Opening its capacities and infrastructure allowed JD.com to collaborate with more than 2600 global businesses, each with an RMB 100 yuan and several third-party dealers. It is working with many partners, including Five Star Appliance, Walmart, Kuaishou, Game Retail, and Dixintong Technology Group (D.Phone), to develop a mutually beneficial business environment based on innovation and trust.

JD.com’s workforce has also increased from 100,000 to more than 260,000 in five years, and the associated sector ecosystems have seen the development of more than 15 million employment opportunities. Additionally, Richard Liu’s visionary endeavors in ground-breaking innovations in the Internet of Things, logistics, robotics, and artificial intelligence have impacted millions of people in China and across the world, propel his company to greater heights solidified Liu’s position as a world leader.

The company has a unique approach to sourcing products directly from suppliers, then reselling to the consumers. Handling the goods instead of leaving it to third-party delivery companies is one of JD’s growth drivers as it fosters reliability and trust.

Liu is recognized globally for delivering insights into the retail sector and future trends on innovation. Besides managing one of the world’s largest corporations, he spends a day annually as JD’s delivery person.