Orig­i­nally I Dreamed to Be a County Gov­er­nor


Special Focus - - Contents - Liu Qiang­dong 刘强东

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

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