JD.com CEO Richard Liu arrested for alleged sexual misconduct

Chinese billionaire and founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com, Richard Liu, was arrested on suspicion of sexual misconduct. According to John Elder, the spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department, ‘an active investigation’ is currently underway and he refused to disclose any further details. Reports say that Liu, who was arrested on Friday, was released on Saturday afternoon.

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Rebuffing the claims, JD.com posted a statement on Sunday afternoon saying, “During a business trip to the United States, Mr. Liu was questioned by police in Minnesota in relation to an unsubstantiated accusation.”

“The local police quickly determined there was no substance to the claim against Mr. Liu, and he was subsequently able to resume his business activities as originally planned,” the company added.

The #MeToo movement, which has brought sexual misconduct under light, has wrecked the careers of several well-known celebrities, corporate executives and politicians. Liu stands as the highest-profile Chinese businessperson to be indicted of the crime.

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As per the company’s rules, it requires the presence of Liu at board meetings for the board to make decisions, though it isn’t clear if he has to be physically present or could participate by teleconference.

“I’m not aware of any other company that has similar rules,” said Chris Leahy, co-founder of advisory firm Blackpeak and a corporate governance expert. “If the board isn’t quorate without Richard Liu, if he is unable to attend, and if there are no other provisions that offer a way round that, the company could become ungovernable,” he added.

 

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