Shanghai, Oct. 2 - Former University of Michigan student Liu Jingyao, who had accused billionaire Richard Liu of rape, had filed a civil lawsuit against him. Richard Liu is the founder of one of China's biggest e-commerce platforms, JD.com.
Liu Jingyao, a student who was 21 years old in 2018 when she claimed Richard Liu raped her after an evening of dinner and alcohol, filed the lawsuit as part of their ongoing legal dispute.
The event between Ms. Jingyao Liu and Mr. Richard Liu in Minnesota in 2018 led to a misunderstanding that attracted a lot of public attention and caused the parties and their families much anguish, according to a statement from the lawsuit's parties sent by JD.com.
It continued by announcing that the case had been resolved but withheld the terms of the settlement. Jury selection in the case had started last week in a Minnesota court.
Regarding the matter, JD.com declined to make any additional comments, and Richard Liu's and Liu Jingyao's attorneys did not immediately answer to requests for comment.
High-profile Chinese entrepreneur Richard Liu launched JD.com and served as its CEO up until earlier this year. In April, he gave Xu Lei the CEO reins.
In April 2019, four months after the prosecution decided not to pursue criminal charges against Richard Liu, Liu Jingyao brought the civil lawsuit.
The issue severely damaged Liu's reputation in China and raised questions about his management of the massive e-commerce company. He left the Chinese parliament's advisory council in 2019 for "personal reasons," according to his resignation letter.
The case also inspired many women in China, where topics like sexual harassment and assault had been taboo for years before the #MeToo movement gained traction in 2018, though it has subsequently encountered online restriction and official backlash.
On Chinese social media, Liu Jingyao's supporters hailed the settlement as a victory for the #MeToo movement in China.
On Sunday, information of the settlement soon became popular on Chinese social media, with more than 110 million people reading about it.