Originally I Dreamed to Be a County Governor
E-commerce used to be a field few people would dare to enter. My persistence and endeavors in building JD. com for the past decade are not understood by many, including those close to me. They ask me, “Why don’t you take it easy and enjoy your life now that JD.com is so successful?”
It all started with my family. My ancestral home was in Hunan Province where my greatgrandfather once lived a wealthy life, but his family moved to Suqian, Jiangsu Province to make a living because of the Joint StatePrivate Ownership Policy which was implemented in 1956. That’s why I was born in a village near Luoma Lake in Suqian. My father could operate a boat, so he got a job in a shipyard.
My father supported the whole family with his salary from the shipyard, 12 yuan per month. I was still a toddler when I met my grandma for the first time, and she raised me from then on.
My grandma had five children and over a dozen grandchildren. They lived a poor life because their only income came from farming. Part of the harvested food had to be submitted to the government as tax even though it was hard to grow at that time.
Besides sweet potatoes and corn, the only food we could eat three meals a day was fermented soybeans, which is still one of my favorite foods today.
I ate a lot of fish when I was young, and always caught fish in the river. Soft- shelled turtle and shrimp were common foods for poor people. My parents didn’t cook crabs for us because they had to be boiled with a lot of salt, which was the only necessity that cost money. Cooking five crabs in a big pot needed a handful of salt, which was a luxury for us. So we usually chopped crabs into pieces and fed them to our ducks. Then the duck eggs could be sold for money.
We could eat meat twice a year at most. Sometimes, we could also have meat at funerals or wedding dinners. I was very lucky to be a regular guest at these occasions because my parents were busy working on boats. This was my life at an early age.
Chang’an Primary School in my village was a private school, where all the teachers came from my village. A limited number of civilian houses are the only property of the school. The openings of the houses are used