US police release JD.com CEO, triggering hot debate online

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/3 15:33:39

Richard Liu Qiangdong, CEO of JD.com, raises his arms to celebrate the IPO for his company at the NASDAQ exchange on Thursday. Photo: IC



 The Minnesota police department said the case involving alleged sexual misconduct against Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com's founder and CEO Richard Liu Qiangdong remains active even if he was released without bail Saturday afternoon (US local time).

The incident has ignited heated discussions among Chinese netizens, with the hashtag "Liu Qiangdong's mug shot profile in custody" ranking No. 1 among all topics on the Chinese Twitter-like Sina Weibo since Monday afternoon.

Liu was allowed to leave Minnesota and the US after being released, which does not mean that he is innocent, as the case remains open, and police  investigation into the case remains active, John Elder, the state police department's public information officer, told Yicai reporters on Monday.

Liu is expected to cooperate with the police when the time becomes necessary, Elder was quoted by Yicai as saying.

Citing the Hennepin County Sheriff's office website, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Liu, who is also known as Richard Liu, was arrested at 11:32 pm on Friday on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct and released on Saturday at 4:05 pm.

Elder said Liu was held for probable cause before being released, with no bail being set. Investigators in Minnesota can either hold a person for up to 36 hours before charging them, or release them and continue an investigation, the WSJ report said.

Depending on the details of the crime, criminal sexual conduct could either be a misdemeanor or a felony, Elder added.

Liu was "wrongfully" charged with sexual assault during a business trip in the US, JD.com said on its Sina Weibo account on Sunday.

Allegations that Liu sexually assaulted female students are inaccurate, and the CEO will continue his trip in the US as planned, the statement said, noting that JD.com will take necessary legal action against the false reports and rumors.

More than 250 million internet users had viewed Liu's discussion page, and 30,000 of them posted comments over the incident as of press time.

Many netizens expressed their support for Liu, firmly believing he is innocent, while others directly pointing out the "victim," who goes by "Nico_Jiangpinting" on Weibo, believed to be a yoga trainer from Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

"Justice naturally lives in people's hearts," the alleged victim posted on her Sina Weibo on Monday, without confirming whether she was involved in the case.

Global Times



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