Richard Liu, the billionaire founder and CEO of JD.com, the Chinese e-commerce giant, faces a rape accusation in civil court from a college student in Minneapolis. The case has roiled his company’s share price, called into question his squeaky-clean reputation, and led him to miss numerous high profile gatherings of China’s business elite.
Liu is accused of assaulting Liu Jingyao, then a 21-year-old undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, while he was attending a business program there last summer.
He was arrested on the night of the alleged incident, but was released the next day and permitted to fly home. State prosecutors also dropped charges against him, citing insufficient evidence, last December. As far as the criminal justice system is concerned, Liu is free to go about his business as before.
Representatives of Liu and JD.com have repeatedly denied the sexual allegations, and vowed to fight them.