Chinese Billionaire Accused of Sex Misconduct Unlikely to Face Charges, Lawyer Says

Chinese Billionaire Accused of Sex Misconduct Unlikely to Face Charges, Lawyer Says

Richard Liu, founder and chief executive of JD.com, China's second-largest e-commerce company by market capitalisation, was arrested in the USA state of Minnesota on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct on August 31.

JD.com, one of China's tech heavyweights, competes with larger rival Alibaba Group (BABA.N), and Liu has a net worth of $7.9 billion, according to Forbes. Police in Minneapolis say they are investigating, though Liu was released after a night in jail, and JD.com said on Monday he had returned to China.

The Minneapolis Police Department had not yet decided Sunday if it will bring charges against Liu, spokesman John Elder told The Washington Post.

"Such allegations about Liu Qiangdong sexually assaulting female students are inaccurate, and the CEO will continue his trip in the United States as planned", said the statement, adding JD.com will take legal action against "false reports and rumor mongering".

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FILE PHOTO - JD.com founder Richard Liu attends a Reuters interview in Hong Kong, China June 9, 2017. Liu was not charged or accused of any misconduct, however, he did end up losing a legal battle earlier this year to keep his name out of the records and the press.

A second JD.com insider said Liu was "lively" and highly motivated by competition. According to the Wall Street Journal, Liu was held on probable cause and released without bail.

This is not the first time Liu has been embroiled in a sexual misconduct incident.

JD.com is 10 percent owned by Walmart, while Chinese internet firm Tencent owns 18 percent.

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That proved key to JD.com's rise, culminating in its listing in the United States in 2014.

An Australian court revealed in July that the chief executive had sought to hide information in the wake of a sexual assault that happened after a 2015 party at his Australian residence, according to the New York Times.

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.

While the doctoral program primarily takes place in Beijing in partnership with the prestigious Tsinghua University, the students were in the Twin Cities last week as part of their training.

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