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High-Profile Chinese Mogul to Face Rare U.S. Sexual Assault Civil Trial

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The jury selection will begin in Minneapolis in the civil trial filed against prominent tech billionaire Richard Liu, also known as Liu Qiangdong in China, where he is the founder of Amazon-equivalent JD.com, reports Amy Qin for the New York Times. Liu Jingyao, the young woman accusing Qiandong of rape, says that the businessman followed her back to her Minneapolis apartment and raped her after an 2018 dinner for Chinese executives that she attended as a University of Minnesota volunteer.

Qiangdong is one of the highest-profile Chinese figures accused of sexual assault or rape to face the scrutiny of a courtroom jury. If Liu wins the case, it could inject much-needed momentum into China’s struggling #MeToo movement. Local prosecutors that year declined to charge Qiangdong with sexual assault, noting that it was a “complicated situation,” and that “profound evidentiary problems” would have made it highly unlikely that a criminal charge could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

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