Richard Liu, also known as Liu Qiangdong, the billionaire founder of China’s JD.com (NASDAQ:JD), was arrested in a criminal sexual misconduct case while in Minnesota.
According to local police, who remain vague about the details, Mr. Liu had been arrested on a rape allegation.
The jail roster for the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office revealed that Liu was arrested Friday August 31st and released the next day on Saturday without bail. He had been traveling in Minnesota on a business trip but returned to China.
The police offered no details but used the terms “criminal sexual conduct,” which covers a range of nonconsensual sexual contact.
According to JD.com (NASDAQ:JD), the accusations against its leader were false. The company made a statement and posted it to social media platform Weibo on Sunday, the day after Liu was released. JD.com stated, “During a business trip to the United States, Mr. Liu was questioned by police in Minnesota in relation to an unsubstantiated accusation.”
Not too long ago Mr. Liu had tried to shy away from a sexual assault that had allegedly taken place at a party in his penthouse in Australia in 201. Longwei Xu, a guest at the party, was convicted of sexual assault. Mr. Liu was not charged with a crime or accused of any wrongdoing. A judge this past July rejected his request for a suppression order as Liu wanted to prevent the release of his name by citing damage to his marriage and business.
Liu was a registered student at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management China Doctor of Business Administration program. Participants of the program were in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area from August 26 to September 1 as part of their residency.
The police report was written the night of Mr. Liu’s arrest, said spokesman for the Police Department, John Elder.
“We’re progressing nicely,” Mr. Elder said of the investigation. “There’s a lot that’s been done, and there’s a lot to go.” The Minneapolis Police Department said the case is still in its infancy.
The company recently reported second quarter earnings of 5 cents a share, while analysts had been expecting 7 cents a share. Revenues of RMB122.3 billion (US$18.5 billion), also missed analysts’ expectations of US$19.21 billion but was a jump of 31.2% year over year.