Fortune has ranked JD.com among the 2021 World’s Most Admired Companies. The online retailer was ranked 6th, up two spots from its 2020 ranking, in the Internet Services and Retailing category.
JD.com is one of five Chinese companies on the 2021 list, joining Alibaba, Cathay Pacific, Haier Smart Home and Tencent.
To compile the list, Fortune partnered with Korn Ferry on a survey of corporate reputation, starting from about 1,500 candidates. The list included the 1,000 largest U.S. companies ranked by revenue and non-U.S. companies in Fortune’s Global 500 database that have revenue of $10 billion or more.
From there, the companies were reduced to highest-revenue companies in each industry, a total of 670 in 30 countries. Executives who work at those companies voted on the final selections.
Korn Ferry asked executives, directors, and analysts to rate enterprises in their own industry on nine criteria – innovation, people management, use of corporate assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term investment value, quality of products and services, and global competitiveness.
From its inception, JD.com has been committed to providing excellent experiences for its customers, brand partners and employees while making meaningful contributions to society. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has taken multiple steps to expand its outreach to the communities it serves. Those services have included free online medical consultations, increased use of telemedicine and charitable programs to ensure those needing access to medications for chronic diseases can obtain needed treatments.
JD has increased capabilities for its partners across its retail, logistics and technology platforms. It has also focused on improving supply chain logistics to ensure customers have access to food and needed supplies during the pandemic, helping companies and households return to some sense of normal.
As China’s leading e-commerce company, JD.com has 284,000 employees and operates retail, health care, technology, logistics and cloud computing services. It’s commitment to social issues has been widely recognized. In 2020, it won the Sustainable Retailing Initiative of the Year Award for its Green Stream Initiative at the World Retail Congress in September. The initiative promotes the use of environmentally friendly practices including the use of paperless systems, recycling and the use of new-energy vehicles. The initiative has helped reduce up to 1.3 million tons of disposable packaging materials since it was launched in 2017.
Issues of quality and sustainability are important to company chief executive officer Liu Qiangdong, who founded JD after first launching a small retail store selling magneto-optical products. Sensing the shifting retail climate, he began adapting his business model to eliminating physical store locations and relying on e-commerce.
That company, Jingdong, eventually became JD.com. The company went public in 2014 with the largest initial public offering to date and is now listed on NASDAQ.
Qiangdong is the son of coal-shipping parents and earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the People’s University of China. He also spent considerable time studding computer programming, the Internet and the burgeoning e-commerce landscape. Today, he focuses his company on using proprietary online platforms to deliver seamless customer experiences, from ordering to delivery. He works closely with corporate partners and delivery services to provide next-day or same-day deliveries to more than 1 billion people.
The company now boasts the largest fleet of commercial drones for deliveries and partners with other companies to provide access to supply chain services that result in unmatched customer service. Today, the company has nearly 400 million active users.
Its diverse product portfolio provides unparalleled levels of variety among products and a shopping experience that is tailored to today’s online shoppers. While it is primarily in business in China, the company is looking to expand into Thailand, Southeast Asia, Europe and beyond.