FILE - In this file photo taken Thursday, May 22, 2014, Liu Qiangdong, also known as Richard Liu, CEO of JD.com, raises his arms to celebrate the IPO for his company at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York. JD.com, China's No. 2 e-commerce service, is headquartered in Beijing. The Chinese e-commerce billionaire who faces a possible rape accusation in Minneapolis built his business by promising honesty in a market plagued by fraud and fakes. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Chinese e-merchant built fortune on pledge of honesty

September 05, 2018 - 12:36 am

BEIJING (AP) — The Chinese e-commerce billionaire who faces a possible rape accusation in Minneapolis built his business by promising honesty in a market plagued by fraud and fakes.

Richard Liu, founder of JD.com, was arrested Friday and released a day later pending possible criminal charges. His company says he was back in Beijing on Monday.

The 45-year-old Liu is one of the most prominent members of a generation of Chinese tech entrepreneurs that includes Jack Ma of rival e-commerce outlet Alibaba Group and Ma Huateng of Tencent, a games and social media giant.

Liu's sales pitch when JD went online in 2003 was unusual: No counterfeits in a market that had suffered repeated scandals over fake and sometimes deadly milk, medicine and other goods.