Chinese netizens suspect conspiracy over JD CEO’s arrest

By Yin Han Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/6 23:13:40

The arrest of Chinese billionaire tech CEO Richard Liu Qiangdong on suspicion of sexual misconduct in the US state of Minnesota is a conspiracy directed by the US to undermine the Chinese economy amid the ongoing Sino-US trade war, claim some Chinese netizens.

"The US brought shame on Liu in order to ruin a Chinese company," alleged an article published on Chinese website The Founder. Similar opinions have gone viral since the article was published on Tuesday.

Known as Richard Liu in the English-speaking world, the founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant was arrested under an accusation of rape by Minnesota police during a study trip in the US.

Liu was freed from police custody on Saturday without being charged, and did not have to post bail. He has returned to China.

Comments and opinions surrounding Liu's arrest have been swirling around the Chinese internet since the story broke.

 Many netizens have connected Liu's arrest with the current trade war between China and the US.

Some netizens posted on Sina Weibo that they "believe in Liu's character and personality" and others said it is "one of a series of moves by the US in order to damage Chinese enterprises and the economy."

Other netizens and experts however, called for a rational and objective attitude to the case.

Zhi Zhenfeng, a legal expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday that while netizens may have their own reasons to voice such suspicions, no one should jump to conclusions until a judicial decision is made.

Some of the netizens "have always had a mistrust of the US, and the current trade war between the two countries could have intensified this mistrust," Zhi said.

The stock price of the US-listed tumbled 10.6 per cent in Nasdaq trading to $26.30 on Wednesday.


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