JD.com’s founder Richard Liu was arrested in Minnesota on Friday on a criminal sexual conduct charge during his business trip to United States. He was however released the next day without bail to resume his business activities as originally planned following the police failed in finding substance to the claim.
The Chinese billionaire with native name Liu Qiangdong was detained by Minneapolis police and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office said he was suspected of “criminal sexual conduct,” the term that covers a range of nonconsensual sexual contact in the state.
Chinese social media platform Weibo wrote the chief executive of one of China’s largest online retailers was falsely accused during his business trip to United States and Minneapolis police questioned him in relation to an unsubstantiated accusation.
Local police said the case is currently being treated as an active investigation and Liu was released pending formal complaint. According to spokesman John Elder the businessman could have been held in custody through Tuesday but it was not felt as a necessary move. Following the investigation prosecutors would be recommended whether he would be charged of felony or misdemeanor or face no charges. If the charges are not made, the case would be closed.
The heavyweight company in the technology scene of China was founded in 2004 by Liu, who is its chief executive and chairman since then, and also considered as its leading lights. JD.com has a market value of about $30 billion and its shares trade on the Nasdaq. Big global brands including Levi’s, Prada and Nike use it as their sales platform to reach burgeoning middle-class.
Competing with largest e-commerce provider in China, Alibaba, and specializing in smartphoners, appliances and other electronics the company claims to have more than 300 million customers. Its business model is similar to that of Amazon that buys from manufacturers and stores the products in its own warehouses. It offers more reliable delivery compared to Alibaba and major shareholders include Tencent and Google.
Liu was born in the 1970s in a poor part of Jiangsu Province in China. Earlier, one day in a year he spent wearing his company’s uniform and making home deliveries saying he wants to treat his staff with respect and fairness.