JD.com's billionaire CEO released after U.S. arrest

Liu Qiangdong also known as Richard Liu is the founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site

Liu Qiangdong also known as Richard Liu is the founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site

Liu Qiangdong, one of the richest men in China, has returned to China after being briefly arrested in the U.S. over a sexual misconduct allegation.

Liu, 45, the founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com, was released on Saturday afternoon pending possible criminal charges, Hennepin County Jail records showed.

The billionaire founder of one of China's largest internet companies was arrested last week in Minnesota for alleged sexual misconduct, spending the night in jail before being released the following afternoon.

Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said Sunday he couldn't provide any details because the investigation is considered active.

Liu was in the United States on business when he faced questions about an "unsubstantiated accusation", according to a statement JD.com posted Sunday to the Chinese social network Weibo. While Liu was not accused of wrongdoing, he asked an Australian court to block release of his name, citing potential harm to his company and marriage, the Times reported.

"Mr. Liu has returned to work in China", a JD.com spokesperson said Monday. He stressed that the case was still active and that "people can say whatever they like" without affecting the investigation. Liu, who is worth an estimated $7.3 billion, owns 16 percent of the company and has vast control over major business decisions.




Business Insider has contacted JD.com for further comment. The accusation could also be a test of JD.com's stability, as well as the ability of a Chinese technology company to rebound from the problems of its leaders.

JD.com denied the charge against Liu.

Liu's arrest came shortly after he tried to distance himself from a different sexual-misconduct scandal. Elder said it is his understanding that Liu is still in the United States.

Longwei Xu was found guilty in July of sexual assault after a jury found that he pinned the woman down and repeatedly tried to have sex with her during an hour-long ordeal at his hotel room in December 2015, Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Trade in JD.com shares is set to resume on Tuesday as USA markets are closed for the Labor Day holiday on Monday.

CEO Liu Qiangdong attending a business forum in Hong Kong in June 2017.

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