Chinese Billionaire Liu of JD.com Arrested on Suspicion of Criminal Sexual Conduct
MINNEAPOLIS – September 5, 2018
Chinese billionaire Liu Qiangdong, also known as Richard Liu, the founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com, was arrested in Minneapolis on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct, Hennepin County Jail records show.
According to the recent data, Liu, 45, was arrested late Friday night and released Saturday afternoon pending possible criminal charges. There are no details on the case available as of yet.
Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said he couldn't provide any details because the investigation is considered active. He declined to say where in Minneapolis Liu was arrested or what Liu was accused of doing.
The same information was repeated during a phone conversation with USA really: Elder didn't release any new details.
Minnesota law defines five degrees of criminal sexual misconduct from a gross misdemeanor to felonies, covering a broad array of conduct ranging from nonconsensual touching to violent assaults with injuries. The jail records for Liu don't indicate a degree.
JD.com, the main rival to Alibaba, said in a statement posted Sunday on the Chinese social media site Weibo that Liu was falsely accused while in the U.S. on a business trip.
"Today, we are concerned that some Weibo users are spreading some false rumors about Mr. Liu Qiangdong... After a local police investigation, he didn't find any violations and he will continue his journey as planned. We will take the necessary legal action against false reporting or rumors," the company said.
Liu recently tried to distance himself from sexual assault allegations against a guest at a 2015 party at Liu's penthouse in Australia. Liu was not charged or accused of wrongdoing, but the Australian media reported he tried unsuccessfully to get a court to prevent the release of his name in that case.
In June, Google said it would invest $550 million in JD.com. The investment reflects an effort by the U.S. tech company to expand its reach into Asian e-commerce.
JD.com is China's second-largest e-commerce company after Alibaba. Among its other investors is Chinese internet gaming and social media giant Tencent Holdings, the developer of the WeChat messenger app and another major rival of Alibaba, as well as the U.S. retailer Walmart Inc.