Since 2004, JD.com has been one of China’s largest retailers. As the company grew and expanded into new industries and added more products, JD.com quickly outperformed its only competitor Alibaba. Now, JD.com looks to continue its dominance by strengthening its partnerships with Zespri and Rockit Global Limited, two New Zealand-based food companies.
Last year, JD.com began selling kiwifruit and snack-sized apples, imported from New Zealand to its more than 300 million customers. By the end of the year, fruit sales jump 20 percent from the previous two years. Overseas fruits are a favorite of young, middle-class consumers who are more health and nutrition-conscious.
As with many international partnerships, it’s created thousands of new jobs in across New Zealand. Wanting to experience the same benefits on its end, JD.com launched a Chinese-based farming program that focused on producing high-quality chicken meat for its 300 million consumers.
“Running Chickens” started as a 27-hectare free-range chicken farm that created much-needed jobs in one of the poorest regions of China. Since the farm’s establishment, poverty in Wuyi County dropped, and JD began offering interest-free loans to aid neighboring communities. Today, more than 500 families produce locally grown, high-quality foods for JD.com customers.
Leading JD.com into more partnership is the company’s CEO Richard Liu Qiangdong, who also happens to be the company’s founder. Richard Liu founded JD.com in 2004, but the company was originally called Jingdong, which he founded in 1998. Jingdong was a brick-and-mortar chain of shops that were closed by the 2003 SARS outbreak.
Richard Liu didn’t want to let his only successful company die, so he moved online and renamed it JD.com. Jingdong only sold magneto-optical products, but JD.com sells billions of different products. When Richard Liu realized that he could add as many products as he wanted, he began reaching out and forming worldwide partnerships.
Today, he continues traveling the world, talking to people and forming more partnerships. He also listens to customers from all over the world to get a more international perspective.