Amid Rape Allegations, US Law Firms Plan Suit Against JD.com

CEO Returns to China After Arrest in US Sexual Misconduct Case

Tech billionaire and founder of JD.com Richard Liu returns to China after US arrest

"We are putting resources to the investigation and our concern is to provide services to the complainant and to ensure that we're protecting the rights of Mr Liu", John Elder, a police department spokesman, told the South China Morning Post.

Also known as Richard Liu, the founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site was arrested in Minneapolis late Friday on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct, according to Hennepin County Jail records.

Today, his company said in a statement: 'He has been released without any charges and without requirement for bail.

The company also said in a statement on the social media site Sina Weibo on Sunday that Liu was falsely accused of sexual misconduct while in the U.S. on a business trip, and that police investigators found no misconduct.

JD.com CEO Liu Qiangdong could face a first-degree felony over a sexual-misconduct allegation, according to the Associated Press and South China Morning Post.

Liu is one of China's richest men and among the country's handful of internet celebrities who are household names.

An attorney for Liu, Earl Gray, said Tuesday that he doesn't expect the CEO will face any charges. "There's no credible complaint", defense attorney Joseph Friedberg said on Tuesday. On Tuesday, police released a report which said that Liu had been accused of "criminal sexual conduct - rape -completed". China does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

As an enrolled student at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management in its Doctor of Business Administration China program, Liu was reportedly in town from August 26 to September 1 to attend the residency component of the program.

"Negative publicity could also compromise JD.com's ability to attract global brands to its marketplace, which has been a top focus of the CEO over the past two years or so", Sanderson said.

Mr Liu has a net worth of $7.5bn now (£5.8 bn), according to Forbes.

JD.com's shares, now valued at some US$42 billion, have lost around 30% since the start of the year on weaker sales amid stiff competition from much bigger rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Liu's case became a widely discussed topic on Chinese social media, with many netizens sharing his mugshot online and speculating how the issue would affect his marriage to 24-year-old social media celebrity Zhang Zetian.

The case involved a person who had been a guest at a party hosted by Liu at his home in Sydney 2015 who accused another guest of sexually assaulting her at a hotel.

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