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Sex allegation lands Chinese billionaire in Minneapolis jail

September 2, 2018

A Chinese billionaire who founded the e-commerce site JD.com was arrested in Minneapolis on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct, police said Sunday.

Liu Qiangdong, also known as Richard Liu, was booked into jail about 11:30 p.m. Friday and released about 4 p.m. Saturday ending possible prosecution, said police spokesman John Elder.

Elder offered declined to reveal anything further about the arrest, including an specifics about the alleged offense, or when and where it allegedly occurred.

The lack of information, Elder explained, is because his department is “actively investigating this case,” and further details should be released later this week.

Beijing-based JD.com, the main rival to Alibaba Group with more than 300 million customers, said in a statement on the Chinese social media site Weibo that Liu was falsely accused while on a business trip, but that police found no misconduct and that he would continue his travels as planned.

“We will take the necessary legal action against false reporting or rumors,” the company statement read.

Liu recently tried to distance himself from a sexual assault allegation leveled against a guest at a 2015 party his penthouse in Australia. Liu was not charged or accused of wrongdoing, but Australian media reported he failed in court to keep his name under wraps in that case. The guest, Longwei Xu, was convicted of sexual assault.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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