A Year After Allegations, JD.com Stock Fully Recovered

Shares in the Chinese retailer have recovered to the level at which its stock traded before the allegations of sexual assault against the company's chairman a year ago.
Anthony RussoAug 03,2019,06:55

Before CEO of China’s e-commerce giant JD.com Inc. (Nasdaq:JD), Richard Liurape allegations begun JD.com was trading at $36.29 per share on August 2, 2018. On September 5 a week after the allegations the stock plummeted to $26.30 per share, representing a 28 percent decrease. 

Just less than a year ago Liu was arrested on the account of rape allegations in Minneapolis. 

21 year old female student, Jingyao Liu from the University of Minnesota sent messages to her friend through Chinese multi-purpose messaging app WeChat, recovered by Reuters while Liu was at her apartment.

“I was not willing,” she wrote in Chinese on the messaging application around 2 a.m. on August 31. “Tomorrow I will think of a way to escape,” she wrote, as she begged the friend not to call police. 

“He will suppress it,” she wrote, referring to Liu. “You underestimate his power.” 

During the beginning stages of the U.S. trade war between China, U.S president Donald Trump imposed a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion Chinese imports on September 24. Just over a week later between the trade war and Liu’s rape allegations his stock at just $23.62 per share. 

Liu was released within a 17 hours of his arrest and not charged, had he been charged the firms share price probably would have fell further, according to Danny Law, Hong Kong- based analyst at brokerage Guotai Junan. 

Despite Minneapolis prosecutors deeming there will be no sexual charges filed against Liu according to a Hennepin County Attorney report in December, the student filed a lawsuit against Liu in April, who seeks damages more than $50,000  according to CNN. 

"This action arises out of a sexual assault and battery that caused damages of more than $50,000," the court document said.

Also December 1 marked U.S presidents Donald Trump’s implementation of tariffs on Chinese imports. A week later JD’s stock dropped to $20.92 a share. Aftter Liu’s charges were dropped on December 21, a little over a couple of weeks the stock jumped up to trading $23.69 per share. 

In July the police released a surveillance video of Liu and the victim walking arm to arm, prior to entering her apartment. Liu’s lawyer and defendant on the case, Jill Brisbois, expressed confidence in a response after the video was released. 

“The written police report, in addition to the surveillance video, fully dispels the misinformation and unsubstantiated speculation,” said Brisbois in a response to the surveillance video report released by the police in July. “That has been widely circulated and irrefutably supports the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office decision not to file charges against our client”.

Despite the law suit, JDs stock appears to be trending back towards August 2018, as there price per share for the month of July was $29.91.

JD.com was trading $27.85 per share on Thursday, trending up 6 percent from September.