One of China’s richest men was arrested in the US on sexual misconduct allegations

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liu qiangdong mugshot
The mugshot of Liu Qiangdong, the founder and CEO of JD.com, who was arrested in Minneapolis on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct.
Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP


Liu Qiangdong, one of the richest men in China, was briefly arrested during a trip to the US on sexual misconduct allegations.

Liu, the founder and CEO of the e-commerce company JD.com, was arrested around 11:30 p.m. on Friday and released shortly after 4 p.m. the following day, according to Hennepin County Sheriff’s Jail records.

Minneapolis police arrested the 44-year-old on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct charges, the jail records said. There are no further details of the alleged incident.

John Elder, a police spokesman, declined to provide any further details of the case or circumstances of the arrest because the investigation is still considered active, according to the Associated Press.

Liu is the 16th richest person in China.
AP

JD.com on Sunday said the accusations were false and unsubstantiated. The company didn’t name the charges.

It said in a statement on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo: “Mr Liu Qiangdong encountered a false accusation while on business in the US. An investigation by local police did not find any evidence of misconduct, and he will continue his trip as planned. We will take the necessary legal action against false reporting or rumors.”

Elder also told the BBC: “There is absolutely no restriction on his travel. The understanding is that if we need to get in touch with him, we will be able to do so.”

Liu’s arrest came shortly after he tried to distance himself from another sexual misconduct scandal. In late July he said he didn’t know anything about a sexual assault that was alleged to have taken place at a party he was hosting in Sydney in 2015. He was not accused of any wrongdoing.

Liu, also known as Richard, has a net worth of $10.8 billion (£8.4 billion), according to Forbes. He was named by the Forbes billionaire list as the 16th richest person in China and the 140th richest person in the world.

JD.com is the second largest Chinese e-commerce company after Alibaba. The company had 292.5 million active customer accounts in 2017, and reaped a net profit of 50.8 billion yuan ($7.8 billion) in FY17, the company said in its annual statement.

He is the husband of Zhang Zetian, who at 24 is China’s youngest female billionaire.

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