Chinese e-commerce billionaire returns to Beijing after U.S. arrest

Chinese billionaire arrested in Minneapolis

A Chinese billionaire who founded the Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com was arrested on Friday night during a trip to Minnesota on accusations of criminal sexual misconduct.

A sheriff's jail roster record from Minnesota's Hennepin County showed a man surnamed Liu with the given name of Qiangdong, the Chinese name for Richard Liu, was detained on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct on August 31 at 11:32 p.m.

"He has been released without any charges, and without requirement for bail". The jail records don't provide details of the alleged incident.

JD.com said in a statement on Sunday on social media that Liu was falsely accused while in the USA on a business trip, but police investigators found no misconduct and that he would continue his journey as planned.

"Mr. Liu has returned to work in China", the company said in a brief statement late on Monday, referring further questions to two US -based lawyers representing Liu.

Chinese billionaire arrested in Minneapolis

"Under these circumstances based on our substantial experience in the criminal justice system in Minnesota charges are highly unlikely in the future to be brought against our client", Gray said in an email to Reuters. The $45 billion company, the main rival to Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, said it would take legal action against "false reporting or rumors".

JD.com is 10 percent owned by Walmart, while Chinese internet firm Tencent owns 18 percent.

"If the board isn't quorate without Richard Liu, if he is unable to attend, and if there are no other provisions that offer a way round that, the company could become ungovernable", he said. JD.com is now testing drone deliveries in rural areas and recently unveiled a robot-run warehouse in Shanghai that can package 200,000 orders per day with the help of only four human engineers. He declined to say where in Minneapolis Liu was arrested or what Liu was accused of doing.

Earlier this year, Liu attempted to suppress information about a sexual assault that occurred after a 2015 party at his Australian home, the New York Times reported. The defendant was found guilty of seven offenses, according to a court document. It appeared to contradict U.S. police by adding authorities found no evidence of misconduct and released Liu to continue his trip. In July, a judge in Australia rejected his request for a suppression order.

JD.com denied the charge against Liu.


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