A billionaire founder founder and CEO of one China’s biggest e-commerce sites was arrested Friday in Minnesota on suspicion of sexual misconduct, according to police.
Liu Qiangdong, who founded JD.com, one of China’s most popular and trafficked shopping sites, was arrested and detained Friday night at the Hennepin County jail on sexual misconduct charges, records show. He was released the following afternoon, but posted no bail.
The Minneapolis Police Department will not elaborate on the charges against the e-commerce leader, spokesman John Elder said in a statement late Sunday night, explaining that the investigation is still active.
“We’re familiar with [Liu’s] means and abilities. We are confident if we need to have further discussions with him, we will be able to have those discussions,” Elder said.
While the jail records do not elaborate as to what degree of sexual misconduct Liu may have committed, Minnesota’s criminal sexual misconduct laws span five degrees, ranging from misdemeanor to felony. According to the Washington Post, the department said the charge would be a felony, though it has not yet determined whether it will follow through with the charges.
The Chinese tech mogul, who is also known as Richard Liu, was on a business trip to the US when he was questioned by police in connection to an “unsubstantiated accusation,” JD. com said in a statement posted Sunday to the Chinese social media site Weibo. The company asserted that its 45-year-old founder has been falsely accused.
“The local police quickly determined there was no substance to the claim against Mr. Liu, and he was subsequently able to resume his business activities as originally planned,” JD.com sad in its post. “We will take the necessary legal action against false reporting or rumors.”
JD.com did not immediately respond to Apegeo News’ request for further details on the case or the status of the investigation.
According to authorities, Liu is still in the US. However, a spokesperson for the county attorney’s office told the Post that it was “unusual” for a person to be released “so quickly,” though he “did not know the circumstances of the release.”
Earlier this year, Liu tried to stymie a probe into sexual assault allegations against him in Australia, stemming from a 2015 incident in which a guest at a party at a penthouse there accused him of being inappropriate. Authorities in Australia never charged Liu in the case.
JD.com is a monolith e-commerce company in China. Similar to Amazon, it’s famous for its rapid delivery of virtually anything a user could want.
In June, Google committed to investing about $550 million in the company.