JD.com Founder Richard Liu Has Been Accused of Rape, Report Says

Tech billionaire and founder of JD.com Richard Liu returns to China after US arrest

Chinese billionaire returns to Beijing after US arrest

Liu talked about the fashion industry in a press release about the deal but did not address his arrest in the United States.

The Minneapolis Police Department over the weekend said the investigation remained active but would not confirm details of the arrest or the allegations against 45-year-old Liu. He was released Saturday.

JD.com's shares plunged the most on record in the U.S. on Wednesday, extending a decline and putting CEO Richard Liu Qiangdong's stock options under water, as the market waits to see if prosecutors will bring charges against the billionaire founder, who was arrested for suspected rape last Friday before being later released. Liu was released from police custody without bail or travel restrictions.

A Chinese e-commerce giant says its billionaire founder, Liu Qiangdong, has returned to China after his arrest in the USA on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct. On Monday, the company issued another statement saying that Liu had returned to China. Shares in JD.com, China's second largest online retailer after Alibaba, dipped Tuesday to an 18-month low, according to Reuters.

Minnesota law defines five degrees of criminal sexual misconduct, ranging from a gross misdemeanor to felonies, covering a broad array of conduct ranging from nonconsensual touching to violent assaults with injuries.

Earl Gray, a lawyer for Mr Liu, said he did not expect him to face charges, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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A spokesperson for the University of Minnesota said Liu, who is enrolled as a student with the Carlson School of Management's doctor of business administration China program, was in Minneapolis to attend a residency from August 26 to September 1. "There's no credible complaint", defense attorney Joseph Friedberg said on Tuesday.

"The shares have fallen as a direct result of Liu's alleged sexual misconduct", said Li Yi, chief fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

Any prolonged absence by Liu could exacerbate risks for the company, given JD.com's unusual rules that require Liu to be present at board meetings for the board to make decisions. Liu was not charged or accused of wrongdoing, but Australian media reported he tried unsuccessfully to get a court to prevent the release of his name in that case.

Since JD's listing in 2014, Liu has become one of China's richest and most influential men, with a net worth of about $7.9 billion, according to Forbes.

The case involved a person who had been a guest at a party hosted by Liu at his home in Sydney 2015 who accused another guest of sexually assaulting her at a hotel.

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