JD.com keeps sliding on reports its CEO could face a first-degree felony

Lintao Zhang/GettyJD.com CEO and founder Liu Qiangdong in Beijing in March 2018.
  • JD.comCEO Liu Qiangdong could face a first-degree felony over a sexual-misconduct allegation, according to the Associated Press and South China Morning Post.
  • Liu returned to China and appeared at an event in Beijing on Tuesday after being detained in Minneapolis, Minnesota on sexual-misconduct allegations over the weekend.
  • JD.com shares trade at their lowest level since February 2017.
  • Watch JD.com trade in real time here.

JD.com shares are down more than 6% on Wednesday after it was reported that police records show CEO Liu Qiangdong was arrested over a rape allegation this past weekend. They’re trading at their lowest level since February 2017.

Liu, CEO of the second-largest Chinese e-commerce company after Alibaba, was detained in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he spent last week as a Ph.D. student in a business administration program at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

Hennepin County Sheriff jail records show that he was arrested at 11:32 pm CT on Friday and released at 4:05 p.m. CT on Saturday, without requiring bail.

Liu faces a first-degree felony if he is charged with the crime, according to the Associated Press and the South China Morning Post, citing police records that are not public at the moment. The Minneapolis police department declined to give further details of the case and circumstances of the arrest “because this is an active criminal investigation.”

First-degree rape is the most-severe charge of sexual assault under Minnesota law. If charged and convicted, Liu could be sentenced to 30 years in prison.

JD.com told Business Insider on Sunday that Liu has been falsely accused, and that it “will take the necessary legal action against false reporting or rumours.” 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.”

Liu appeared at an event in Beijing on Tuesday for JD.com, and his attorney, Earl Grey, an attorney for Liu, doesn’t expect Liu to face charges.

“There is no believable or credible evidence that he has done anything wrong and he denies any wrongdoing,” Grey said, according to the The Wall Street Journal.

The 45-year-old, also known as Richard Liu, has a net worth of $US10.8 billion and was listed as the 16th-richest person in China and the 140th-richest person in the world, according to Forbes.

Liu is married to Zhang Zetian, who at 24 is China’s youngest female billionaire. Zhang has a sobriquet “Sister Milk Tea” as she shot to fame after a photo of her holding a cup of milk tea went viral on Chinese social media. The couple married in 2015 and have one daughter together.

Shares of JD.com are down 36% since this year.

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