JD.com billionaire arrested and released in US over sexual misconduct allegations


"He was released pending formal complaint", a spokesman told AFP.

A Chinese billionaire was arrested in Minnesota on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct, police said Sunday.

The arrest comes shortly after Liu was in the spotlight for another incident involving sexual misconduct. He declined to provide details of the arrest.

Liu, whose net worth of $9.4 billion earned him the Forbes rank of 18th richest Chinese man a year ago, was released without bail and is free to leave the city, state and even the country, police said.

Minnesota law defines five degrees of criminal sexual misconduct, ranging from a gross misdemeanor to felonies, covering a broad array of conduct ranging from nonconsensual touching to violent assaults with injuries.

Liu's company released a statement that denied he had done anything wrong.

"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.

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Longwei Xu was found guilty in July of sexual assault after a jury found that he pinned the woman down and repeatedly tried to have sex with her during an hour-long ordeal at his hotel room in December 2015, Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Liu has not been charged with a crime or accused of any wrongdoing in that case.

JD.com, which stands for Jingdong, is the rival of the popular Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba Group led by CEO Daniel Zhang.

Liu founded JD.com, one of China's leading e-commerce sites in 2004.

The company says it offers a "one stop" shopping experience to over 300 million active customers in China, with same- and next day-delivery as standard.

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.