Chinese billionaire Richard Liu of JD.com arrested in Minneapolis

Elder said he did not know if Liu was being represented in the case by a lawyer.

Mr. Liu, 45, was taken into custody by Minneapolis police on Friday and released the next day. The #MeToo movement that has highlighted sexual misconduct has derailed the careers of well known entertainers, corporate executives and politicians in the United States and other countries, and has begun to find traction in China too.

"During a business trip to the United States, Mr. Liu was questioned by police in Minnesota in relation to an unsubstantiated accusation", the company said in a statement to Reuters on September 2. Elder declined to provide any further details on the case to Business Insider "because this is an active criminal investigation".

The Minneapolis arrest wasn't the only harsh spotlight on Liu this year.

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. The investigation remains active.

JD.com said in a statement on the Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo, on Monday evening local time, that Liu "has now returned to China to continue work as normal".

JD.com said Mr Liu, also known as Richard Liu, was falsely accused.

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In 1998, he spent 12,000 yuan of his savings to lease a four-square-meter retail space in Beijing's technology hub of Zhongguancun, setting up a firm that would become JD.com.

A sheriff's jail roster record from Minnesota's Hennepin County showed a man surnamed Liu with the given name of Qiangdong, the Chinese name for Richard Liu, was detained on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct on August 31 at 11:32 p.m.

JD.com is one of China's largest online retailers.

His wife, Zhang Zetian, some 19 years younger, is a businesswomen and internet celebrity.

Liu's arrest came shortly after he tried to distance himself from a different sexual-misconduct scandal. It appeared to contradict USA police by adding authorities found no evidence of misconduct and released Liu to continue his trip.

"Born into a poor farming family in northern Jiangsu province, Liu is arguably less well-known outside China than his fellow billionaire countrymen like Alibaba Group Holding's Jack Ma Yun, Tencent Holdings' Pony Ma Huateng and Baidu's Robin Li Yanhong, who recently made the cover of Time magazine", Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

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

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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