JD.com Founder Richard Liu Returns To China After US Arrest


A lawyer for JD.com Inc CEO Richard Liu, who was arrested on suspicion of criminal sexual misconduct in the USA state of Minnesota and later released, said on Monday that Liu denies any wrongdoing, and also said he does not expect charges to be brought against his client.

"The individual was arrested Friday evening and released Saturday afternoon".

However 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.

Liu was in the United States on business when he faced questions about an "unsubstantiated accusation", according to a statement JD.com posted Sunday to the Chinese social network Weibo.

The company is backed by Walmart Inc, Alphabet Inc's Google and China's Tencent Holdings.

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.

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Mr. Liu was attending a weeklong residency at the University of Minnesota from August 26 to September 1, where he is enrolled as a student at the Carlson School of Management's China Doctor of Business Administration, the school said in a statement.

"The decision was made not to hold him in custody while we conducted the investigation", Elder told Fox 9.

Business Insider has contacted JD.com for further comment.

China's Foreign Ministry said Monday it had launched an investigation into the circumstances of the chief executive's arrest. Police did not find evidence of his wrongdoing and he was released without bail.

In June, Google announced it would invest more than half a billion dollars into JD.com as part of a move to expand retail services around the world.

Liu recently tried to distance himself from sexual assault allegations against a guest at a 2015 party at his penthouse in Australia.

Liu is married to 24-year-old Zhang Zetian, an internet icon who rose to nationwide fame when a photo of her holding a cup of milk tea went viral.