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04 September 2018, 01:05 | Vera Richards
Chinese billionaire arrested in Minneapolis
China's foreign ministry said Monday it is looking into the circumstances surrounding the arrest of e-commerce billionaire Liu Qiangdong, also known as Richard Liu, in the USA on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct.
JD.com, the company in which Liu has a large controlling stake, told the Reuters news agency on Monday that he was back in China and back at work.
"He has been released without any charges, and without requirement for bail".
The company said police did not find evidence of wrongdoing and Liu will continue his trip as planned.
The company did not immediately provide further details, and Liu could not immediately be reached by Reuters.
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Police said the investigation was active and would not confirm details of the arrest or the allegations against the 45-year-old billionaire.
The arrest comes shortly after Liu was in the spotlight for another incident involving sexual misconduct.
JD.com is 10 percent owned by Walmart, while Chinese internet firm Tencent owns 18 percent. Liu, a married father-of-two, is said to be worth an estimated $7.9billion Dollars.
Liu's attorneys in Minneapolis, Earl Gray and Joseph Friedberg, told the Wall Street Journal that they don't have specific knowledge of the complaint against Liu, but said their client is innocent.
As JD.com aims to spread beyond Asia, Liu has lately sought to raise his profile among global business leaders.
While the doctoral program primarily takes place in Beijing in partnership with the prestigious Tsinghua University, the students were in the Twin Cities last week as part of their training.
He was brought in by police in Minnesota late on Friday on an accusation of "criminal sexual conduct" and released more than 16 hours later, according to arrest records.
China's foreign ministry said today that its consulate in Chicago was closely following developments in the case.
Liu Qiangdong, also known as Richard Liu, is the founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com, the main rival to Alibaba Group.
The company has been in and out of the red for the past year and last month reported a second-quarter net loss of $334.4 million - nearly twice that forecast in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S poll - reflecting increased investment.
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