Briefing: billionaire founder Richard Liu cleared in rape case

1 min read CEO Richard Liu cleared in US but Chinese e-commerce giant still faces challenges ahead – SCMP

What happened: US prosecutors have decided not to press criminal charges against Chinese retail giant’s CEO Richard Liu due to insufficient evidence. Liu had been under investigation since August after a 21-year-old female Chinese undergraduate student accused him of rape while he was attending a business program at the University of Minnesota. Liu would have faced a prison sentence of up to 30 years if convicted.

Why it’s important: The accusation against Liu, who controls the majority voting rights of China’s second largest online retailer, has made a dent on the company’s quarterly financial results. Shares of the Nasdaq-listed company slumped nearly 16% in two days after Liu’s arrest and the company reportedly lost 8.6 million annual active customers between June and September. The company has lost an additional 24% in value since then.