Billionaire CEO arrested in Minnesota sexual-misconduct investigation

Hannah Rogers
September 3, 2018

Chinese billionaire and tech company executive Liu Qiangdong was arrested Friday night in Minneapolis on suspicion of sexual assault and later released as an investigation continues, authorities said.

Richard Liu, CEO and founder of China's e-commerce company JD.com, speaks before ringing the opening bell at the NASDAQ Market Site building at Times Square in NY, U.S. May 22, 2014.

Mr Liu, one of China's richest people, was arrested in Minneapolis shortly before midnight on Friday and released on Saturday afternoon.

Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder said that an investigation was ongoing and declined to provide details of the arrest.

But, contrary to the company's statement, Minneapolis police have not actually cleared Liu of wrongdoing and have instead said that they are now investigating the allegation against him.

In an earlier statement posted to Chinese social media network Weibo, JD.com described the allegations as false.

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JD.com's rules require Liu, who holds almost 80 percent of the company's voting rights, to be present at board meetings for the board to make decisions, although it was not immediately clear if he has to be physically present or could participate by teleconference.

The firms will marry JD's supply chain and logistics experience with Google technology to create "next generation" personalised retail in regions including Southeast Asia, the U.S. and Europe, both companies said in a statement. It showed Liu was "released pending complaint".

JD.com, has said that the accusation against Liu, 45, was unsubstantiated. Liu wasn't involved, but he unsuccessfully asked the court to hide his name out of concerns for his business and marriage.

FILE PHOTO - JD.com founder Richard Liu attends a Reuters interview in Hong Kong, China June 9, 2017. "Milk Tea Sister" and Liu met while they were studying in New York City and later married in Australia.

Longwei Xu, a property developer, was later found guilty of seven counts.

JD.com, backed by Walmart Inc (WMT.N), Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google, and China's Tencent Holdings (0700.HK), did not respond to requests for comment on Liu. Liu started his business by opening a counter store in Beijing selling computer parts.

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