Chinese billionaire held, released in US over sexual misconduct

Sep 04, 2018, 09:55 IST | Agencies

The Minneapolis Police Department over the weekend said the investigation remained active, but would not confirm details of the arrest or the allegations

Chinese billionaire held, released in US over sexual misconduct
Richard Liu. Pic/AFP

Tech billionaire and JD.com founder Richard Liu has returned to China, the company said yesterday, following a brief arrest in the US over allegations of criminal sexual conduct.

"He has been released without any charges and without requirement for bail," a spokeswoman for the company said in a statement. "Mr Liu has returned to work in China." JD.com, the company which Liu founded in 1998, is an e-commerce juggernaut in China and the main competitor to industry leader Alibaba. Liu, also known by his Chinese name Liu Qiangdong, was arrested over the misconduct allegations late Friday and released Saturday afternoon in the midwestern US city of Minneapolis, records from Hennepin County Jail showed.

The Minneapolis Police Department over the weekend said the investigation remained active, but would not confirm details of the arrest or the allegations. "The individual was arrested on Friday evening and released on Saturday afternoon. He was released pending formal complaint," public information officer John Elder said.

In the state of Minnesota, "criminal sexual conduct" encompasses a broad spectrum of non-consensual sexual activity. China's foreign ministry said on Monday that its consulate in Chicago was closely following developments in the case. It was "seeking information and verification from the related US authorities", ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

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