JD.com’s Chief Executive Officer Arrested on Sexual Misconduct

The Chief Executive Officer of Chinese online retail giant JD.com Inc (NASDAQ: JD), Richard Liu, was arrested in Minneapolis last week following an allegation of rape, according to a public information report released by police on Tuesday.

Liu, who through his lawyers has denied any wrongdoing, was released from custody on Saturday without being charged or paying bail. He has returned to China, appearing at an event on Tuesday to sign an agreement with Shandong Ruyi, the owner of Swiss luxury shoe firm Bally.

The disclosure adds detail about the accusation after police said previously he had been arrested on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct. It is likely to increase the pressure on Liu and U.S.-listed JD.com, which saw its shares end down 6% on its first day of trade since the news of his arrest broke.

Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder said on Tuesday that if there were any charges against Liu they would not be filed until completion of a criminal investigation that would not occur before Friday.

Lawyers for Liu have said they do not expect him to be charged. “There’s no credible complaint,” defense attorney Joseph Friedberg said on Tuesday. The police report said domestic violence was not involved. Elder said the alleged attack reportedly occurred at 1 a.m. local time on Friday, and that Liu was taken into custody later that evening.

Beijing-based lawyers said that if Liu was charged, there would be few legal channels to force him to return to the United States, but added that it was unlikely he would refuse given the potential negative impact on his business interests. China does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

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. It is not clear, however, if he has to be physically present or could participate by teleconference.

Liu owns over 15% of JD.com’s stock and controls nearly 80% of the Company’s voting rights.

JD.com said on Wednesday it had no comment to make on the case.

3 Comments
  1. Jeff Kowarsky 2 weeks ago
    Reply

    JD.com price target lowered to $39 at Stifel amid open investigation into CEO $JD

    • Albert T. 2 weeks ago
      Reply

      Obviously, something happened after this arrest that had prosecutors thinking this wasn’t a case at all. Things like this aren’t typical, something had to have happened after the arrest

  2. Warren Mo 2 weeks ago
    Reply

    Thanks to the CEO, we all get discounted shares.

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