Chinese billionaire Liu Qiangdong, also known as Richard Liu, was arrested in Minneapolis on Friday night on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct, jail records showed.
Liu, 45, the founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com, was released on Saturday afternoon pending possible criminal charges, Hennepin County Jail records showed. The jail records don’t provide details of the alleged incident.
Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said Sunday he couldn't provide any details because the investigation is considered active. He declined to say where in Minneapolis that Liu was arrested or what Liu was accused of doing.
Minnesota law defines five degrees of criminal sexual misconduct, ranging from a gross misdemeanor to felonies, and covering a broad array of conduct ranging from nonconsensual touching to violent assaults with injuries. The jail records for Liu don't indicate a degree.
JD.com said in a statement on Sunday on social media that Liu was falsely accused while in the U.S. on a business trip, but police investigators found no misconduct and that he would continue his journey as planned.
"We will take the necessary legal action against false reporting or rumors," the company said.
JD.com is China’s second-largest e-commerce company after Alibaba. In June, Google said it would invest $550 million in JD.com.
The arrest comes after Liu recently tried to distance himself from a sexual assault allegations against a guest at a 2015 party at Liu's penthouse in Australia. Liu was not charged or accused of wrongdoing, but Australian media reported he tried unsuccessfully to get a court to prevent the release of his name in that case. The guest was convicted.
The New York Times reported Liu has returned to China where he has become the talk of the nation. His mugshot was said to be plastered all over Chinese news outlets and social media pages. The Times reported many in Chinese view self-made tech moguls as “rock stars.” Liu grew up in a poor part of eastern China before attending the prestigious Renmin University in Beijing. He is worth an estimated $7.3 billion, CBS News reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.