Liu Qiangdong was born and raised in an arid coal country about 700kn from south Beijing, China. His parents were peasant farmers. The situation around their home forced his family to eat sweet potatoes for eight months in a year, and four months survived on corn. Once in a while, his grandmother could bring them the fattest pork from the nearby village after exchanging it for peanuts.
Liu Qiangdong descended from a previously wealthy family dealing with transportation of goods along the imperial canal running from Beijing to Hangzhou and along the river Yangtze, but they did lose all their wealth. With such an experience of rich life and losing everything, Liu Qiangdong’s parents instilled in him the virtues of equal treatment of everyone regardless of their status.
The motivation factor for Liu Qiangdong success is the lack of electricity in his village and the need to provide pork regularly to his community. He was determined to learn and go to the big city to expand his horizon. Through the help of donations from his village of money and eggs, he secured his place in the People’s University of China to study Sociology.
He got himself a job to sustain him when the donated eggs ran out. The job was in a company dealing with handwritten job letters. He soon enrolled on computer coding classes to learn about e-commerce. The failure in a restaurant business he had started outside the campus forced him to learn more about business management which he did at the China Europe International Business School and got an EMBA.
Liu Qiangdong currently owns an e-commerce company called JD.com, where he is the CEO. The company deals in all products from groceries, pharmaceutical products and retail building. The company was ranked the 13th best in giving authentic goods online.