Briefing: Hundreds sign #HereforJingyao petition supporting woman suing JD.com CEO

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Hundreds sign online petition supporting woman suing JD.com CEO in rape case – Reuters

What happened: More than 500 of people have signed an online petition supporting Liu Jingyao, the Chinese University of Minnesota student who last week filed a civil lawsuit against Richard Liu, founder and CEO of JD.com, China’s second largest e-commerce operator, whom she had accused of rape. It remains unclear who launched the petition under the hashtag #HereforJingyao. Chinese students at overseas as well as domestic universities signed the petition, which states, “We believe in survivors, we believe in your bravery and honesty, we will always stand with you.”

Why it’s important: Liu Jingyao first accused the JD founder in August, but criminal charges were dropped on lack of evidence. Last week’s lawsuit comes at a difficult time for the company, when the founder’s ability to lead through a tumultuous time has come into question. The online outrage is part of a budding #MeToo movement, whose growth in popularity has been slow in a country where sexual harassment and abuse are often shoved under the rug.