- Forbes published its list of China’s richest people this week.
- JD.com co-founder and CEO Liu Qiangdong fell from 16th to 30th place.
- The fall in his net worth came after his company suffered various setbacks this year.
- JD.com shares fell dramatically at the end of August, Forbes said, when Liu was arrested in the US over a rape allegation.
- Falling Chinese stocks and the ongoing China-US trade war also contributed, Forbes said.
Liu Qiangdong, the co-founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, saw his ranking on Forbes’ list of China’s richest people plummet this week.
Liu, 45, fell from the 16th to 30th place on Forbes’ China Rich List, which published this week.
His net worth fell by 34% to $US6.2 billion, the magazine said in its analysis.
Shares in his company, JD.com, fell by 25% in the end of August, Forbes said, when Liu was arrested in Minnesota over a rape allegation.
He was briefly detained in Minneapolis, where he was attending a business management course at the University of Minnesota, and was released without charge and given no bail requirement.
Police completed an investigation into the case for about three weeks and handed it over to prosecutors, Hennepin County’s police and attorney’s offices separately told Business Insider last week. Prosecutors there did not give a timeline for when they will make a decision on whether or not to charge Liu.
So far, he has not been charged with any crime.
Liu faces a first-degree felony if he is charged with the crime. If charged and convicted he could be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years in prison.
JD.com has strongly denied the allegation against Liu, saying that he was falsely accused, and threatening to “take the necessary legal action against false reporting or rumours.”
Jill Brisbois, one of his attorneys, told Chinese media late last month that her team doesn’t think prosecutors will bring charges. JD.com jumped 5% shortly after Brisbois’ remarks were published.
Liu’s arrest likely came as a blow to his reputation. Liu fostered a reputation of being a workaholic and a family man,Reuters reported, citing the billionaire as saying he often works 16-hour days and was proud of his family.
He said this January, according to Reuters: “For my parents I want to be a good son, for my wife a good husband and for my daughter I want to be a good father. I hope that one day when I retire that my workers will all be able to say: ‘He was a good guy.'”
Several other factors are also likely at play in Liu’s descent on the rich list.
JD.com also lost half its value since its peak in January, Forbes said.
Jack Ma, the eccentric CEO of Alibaba, regained his title as the richest man in China with a net worth of $US34.6 billion.
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