JD.com Founder Richard Liu Returns to China
Richard Liu, the founder and chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, was recently spotted arriving at Beijing Capital International Airport. According to domestic media outlet Sina Tech, sources close to Liu said that he had returned to work in China immediately after his child was born.
Web users made comments such as, “Career is still in the first place,” and “I have a hunch that many internet giants’ founders will return again.” However, according to National Business Daily‘s report, internal staff felt that Liu had never left the company.
In April last year, Liu announced that he would step down as CEO of JD.com, to be replaced by Xu Lei. At that time, the firm said that Liu would devote more energy to long-term strategic design, major strategic decision-making and deployment, training young talents and rural revitalization.
After a sexual assault case in the United States came to an end in October 2022, Liu returned to the front line to take power and “seriously rectify” JD.com.
On November 20 last year, Liu convened all senior executives for a nearly four-hour management training meeting. “JD.com‘s top leaders are me and Xu Lei. In recent years, I have been trying to decentralize. Xu is devoting himself to pragmatic stuff.”
At the meeting, Liu criticized some senior executives, saying that “those who fool themselves with Powerpoint and false words are liars,” indicating that some senior executives are addicted to presentations and fancy words, but implementation is a mess. Liu also said that the management team does not need so many new words, but should return to the five core elements of business – product, price, service, cost and efficiency.
Since Liu returned to JD.com, improving the treatment of grass-roots employees has become a focus. On November 22, Liu issued an internal letter to all employees, saying that the treatment of staff and executives should rise and fall respectively. After that, in a new year congratulatory letter for 2023, JD.com once again promised to improve the treatment of grassroots employees. The letter pointed out that in the past three years, JD.com has added 280,000 employees, and the total number of employees has exceeded 540,000.
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According to a financial report from the third quarter of fiscal year 2022, JD.com greatly reversed the loss of 2.8 billion yuan ($416 million) in the same period of 2021 and gained a net profit of nearly 6 billion yuan. In Liu’s own words, after more than 10 years of hard work, JD.com has finally ushered in an important moment of full profit.
According to Chinese business data platform Tianyancha, there are currently 70 enterprises associated with Liu, 20 of which are now in existence or operation, covering science and technology, logistics, investment, enterprise management, e-commerce and so on. Through direct or indirect shareholding, Liu has the actual control rights of over 300 enterprises.
According to a report by Huxiu, people close to Liu and other high-level officials revealed that Liu may participate in more daily work in 2023. Liu’s series of actions may explain everything.