China accused of blocking posts about student who alleges rape by billionaire

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Supporters of a Minnesota woman who alleged that she was raped by a Chinese billionaire while he was visiting his school campus claim that his social media posts in China were used to support their case. After being blocked.

Prominent Chinese feminist activists and students at the University of Minnesota allege that the Chinese social media app WeChat willfully target billionaire Richard Liu and his company, JD. that he raped a student in the university, star tribune informed of.

Jingyao Liu, now 25, is currently accusing the prominent Internet entrepreneur that during a school trip in 2018 – when the woman was a 21-year-old student – Richard Liu scolded her at a private dinner held at a Minneapolis restaurant. Drunk. before taking her back to his apartment and raping her.

According to court documents from the June hearing at Hennepin County District Court, Ms. Liu contacted a friend after the alleged incident and officers were called.

According to Mr. Liu, who is considered one of the richest men in China with a net worth of $10 billion forbes magazine, He was later arrested, but released within hours.

For his part, Mr. Liu, now 49, who has never been criminally charged, says the sex was consensual.

The county attorney’s office declined to charge him, saying “he didn’t find enough evidence” back in December 2018. However, a few months later, Ms. Liu escalated the case to Minnesota Civil Court, accusing Mr. Liu of sexual assault and battery. She is seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

While the story has been widely covered in the US, supporters of Ms Liu’s case are now alleging that her efforts to broadcast the proceedings, which are scheduled to go to jury trial this fall, were interrupted by WeChat. has gone.

independent The social media company reached out to WeChat for comment on the allegations leveled against it, but did not immediately hear back.

Xiaowen Liang, an outspoken Chinese feminist activist and New York-based lawyer, said in an interview star tribune That soon after he shared an article about the court case on WeChat, an instant-messaging site in China that rakes in a billion active users every month, he noticed something strange.

Although the article had garnered 100,000 views in the short time it went live, it was blocked soon after, becoming her own WeChat account.

“I lost over 2,000 contacts,” she told the Minnesota-based paper. “Over the past few years, the Chinese government has been cracking down on MeToo activists and Chinese feminists in China,” she said. “More and more women are paying attention to the movement and are very vocal on the Chinese media. On the other hand, the censorship against young women activists is becoming more and more severe.”

Another student, who asked the newspaper to refrain from using her name for fear of reprisal, told her how after copying and sharing Ms. Liang’s article in her own post, her post was also blocked. was done. And he, like the original poster, was out of his account for two weeks.

Both Ms. Liu’s supporters say they found a note on the app that said “it is being reported by users and … violates the cyber security law of the People’s Republic of China.”

At one time, one of’s most important investors was Tencent, the same Chinese conglomerate that runs WeChat, where posts about court proceedings against Mr. Liu have been allegedly blocked.

according to star tribune Reporting, as recently as December 2021, the multinational corporation reduced its investment in from 17 percent to just 2.3 percent.

independent Mr. Liu’s company reached out to for comment on allegations that supporters of the University of Minnesota student’s court case were being silenced by WeChat, but did not immediately hear back.

And although Mr. Liu described Tencent’s owner, Pony Ma, as a good friend during a May statement, a spokesperson for told star tribune that any suggested relationship between the companies of the two businessmen is “absolutely false”.

“Any implication that Mr. Liu or the company has insight, knowledge or control over what content is allowed to be shared on WeChat is clearly false and defamatory,” a company spokesperson wrote in an email. star tribune,

“This conspiracy theory is the latest desperate attempt to divert attention from the facts and evidence of the case — which would prove the allegations are false,” he said, stressing that Tencent is no longer an investor in

It’s recently accused of shutting down important accounts of a high-powered person…

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