On June 18, Richard Liu committed RMB12,000 of his savings to lease a four-square-meter retail unit in Beijing’s technology hub of Zhongguancun. Here he established JD Multimedia, the business that would eventually become JD.com.
When the SARS outbreak affected the country, Richard saw an opportunity amid the difficulty to harness the potential of the Internet to support his business and began selling products online.
Richard closed his brick-and-mortar store and moved his business online. www.jdlaser.com, the earliest online predecessor of JD.com was launched.
JD began to build out the company’s proprietary logistics network. By managing every step of the supply chain, right through to the “last-mile” delivery to the customer, JD’s aim was to ensure a superior customer experience.
In October 2008, JD Mall began offering general merchandise, transforming the business from an electronics retailer to a full-fledged e-commerce platform.
In December, JD launched its online marketplace platform, which enabled the company to expand the range of product choices for consumers.
JD recorded RMB125.5 billion (US$20.7 billion) in GMV, surpassing RMB100 billion.
In October, JD Finance was established as an independent business group.
In March, JD formed a strategic partnership with Tencent, giving JD exclusive access to Tencent’s WeChat and Mobile QQ platforms.
On May 22, JD became China’s first major e-commerce company to list on New York’s NASDAQ stock exchange, under the ticker ‘JD.’
In July, JD Finance launched China’s largest crowdfunding platform.
In October, the company’s automated and most advanced logistics center, the Asia No. 1 Warehouse in Shanghai, began operations.
In March, JD Finance launched China’s largest private equity financing service to help attract investment for start-ups.
In April, JD launched JD Worldwide, a cross-border e-commerce platform to give Chinese consumers greater access to imported products.
In June, JD.com and Walmart announced a strategic alliance. As part of the agreement JD took control of Yihaodian’s marketplace, Walmart acquired a 5% stake in JD.com and they agreed to a number of different areas of cooperation covering the online and O2O areas of the two companies’ businesses in China.