JD.com chief executive Richard Liu's arrest: Who is his wife 'Sister Milk Tea'?

Netizens expressed sympathy for founder of JD.com Richard Liu's wife Nancy Zhang Zetian - an "after 90", referring to those born after the year 1990. PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/ZETIANZZZ

Following news that the founder of JD.com Richard Liu had been arrested in the United States on sexual misconduct charges, all details of his life has been thrust into the spotlight by Chinese netizens.

Netizens expressed sympathy for his wife, Nancy Zhang Zetian - an "after 90", referring to those born after the year 1990. Zhang, 24, is also better known as "Sister Milk Tea".

Despite never stepping into showbiz, Zhang was a bonafide Internet celebrity in China even before she became the wife of one of China's richest self-made men.

A photo of her holding a milk tea, dressed in a high school uniform with her hair tied in a ponytail, went viral in 2009. The reason was simple. Her sweet, innocent good looks.

Then just a high school student in Nanjing Foreign Language School in Jiangsu, she was quickly propelled to the apex of Internet fame, with netizens praising her as an otherworldly beauty.

She reportedly was asked to audition for famed director Zhang Yimou's film The Flowers of War but she declined for the sake of her studies.

A national aerobics champion, she was granted early admission to Tsinghua University, one of two top universities in China.

She met Liu, who is 19 years her senior, while on an overseas study programme in the US. The pair initially denied their dating rumours but married in 2015. Zhang was pregnant at the time of their wedding in October 2015.

The couple's daughter was born in the following year.

Liu's company JD.com is a close rival of Jack Ma's Alibaba. JD.com's shares trade on the Nasdaq at a market value of about US$50 billion.

Liu was arrested on Friday (Aug 31) by Minneapolis police for criminal sexual conduct. The police said they were treating the case as an active investigation, although they added that the investigation is in its infancy.

His company said on Monday that he had been released without being charged or having to post bail.

Zhang has yet to respond to Liu's predicament publicly.

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