Richard Liu won't face sexual assault charges in the United States, but the tech billionaire is having to contend with a renewed bout of public scrutiny at home in China.
The business leader, whose Chinese name is Liu Qiangdong, said in a statement that the prosecutors' decision "proves I broke no law."
He went on to apologize for his "interactions" with the young woman who accused him of rape, saying his actions had hurt his family and his wife. Liu said in his statement that he feels "deep regret and remorse" and that he hopes his wife "can accept my sincere apology." "I will continue to try in every possible way to repair the impact on my family and to fulfill my responsibility as a husband," he added.
Many users said that while Liu, 45, may not have been charged, he still deserves censure for cheating on his wife, Zhang Zetian.
"Liu Qiangdong is not guilty, that is the legal judgment. But there is morality behind the law. As a public figure, he should have higher requirements for his words and deeds," said a widely shared post by China Women's News, the news outlet of a women's rights organization.
"It wasn't sexual assault, just extramarital sex, harmless to shareholders and employees," wrote Li Guoqing, a co-founder of online book seller Dangdang.com.
"It wasn't an extramarital affair, just sex, low impact to his wife," he added in a post that drew criticism from other users.
Dangdang quickly distanced itself from Li's comments, posting a statement on its official Weibo account saying that he plays no meaningful role in the company's management. Dangdang was acquired by a subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate HNA in April.