Chinese billionaire arrested in Minneapolis accused of felony rape

Andrew Cummings
September 6, 2018

He declined to say where in Minneapolis Liu was arrested or what Liu was accused of doing.

Chinese billionaire Liu Qiandong was a‌rr‌est‌ed and placed in the c‌ust‌ody of a po‌l‌ic‌e station in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Friday night on suspicion of s‌e‌xu‌al misc‌onduct.

Richard Liu, founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, was arrested in Minneapolis on Friday on suspicion of criminal sexual misconduct. He was released without charge but investigations are ongoing. On Monday evening local time, the company said in a statement on the Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo that Liu has "returned to China to continue work as normal".

Police in the USA state of Minnesota are investigating Liu Qiangdong, founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com Inc.


Liu's arrest has quickly become the hottest topic of conversation on Chinese social media this week with his mugshot plastered on all corners and with netizens gossiping over what this means for the tycoon's high-profile marriage to Zhang Zetian, a 24-year-old internet icon dubbed China's "Milk Tea Sister" after having first caught the nation's eye in a viral photo showing her with a cup of milk tea in hand.

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.

Lawyers for Liu have said they do not expect him to be charged.

Liu's attorney Joseph Friedberg has previously said his client is unlikely to be charged.


During Liu's trip last week in the USA, he was studying at the University of Minnesota for a Ph.D. program offered by the university's Carlson School of Management, according to Bloomberg News.

JD.com's shares, now valued at some US$42 billion, have lost around 30% since the start of the year on weaker sales amid stiff competition from much bigger rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Liu, who is worth an estimated $7.3 billion, owns 16 percent of the company and has vast control over major business decisions.

Shen Meng, director of boutique investment bank Chanson & Co, said as a US-listed company, the statement from JD is not professional and if the company is really involved in issuing materially misleading business information to the investing public, it might be punished severely or even be delisted from the United States bourses.


In July, an Australian court lifted the suppression order that allowed Liu's name to be made public in connection a 2015 party at the billionaire's Sydney penthouse.

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