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JD.com CEO will not face charges in US for alleged sexual misconduct

Prosecutors in Minneapolis' Hennepin County will not bring sexual assault charges against JD.com Inc. CEO and Chairman Liu Qiangdong.

Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman announced the decision in a Dec. 21 statement. Freeman said that after a thorough investigation it was determined that there were "profound evidentiary problems which would have made it highly unlikely that any criminal charge could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt."

"As we reviewed surveillance video, text messages, police body camera video and witness statements, it became clear that we could not meet our burden of proof and, therefore, we could not bring charges," Freeman said.

In a statement posted on its website, JD.com said it is "pleased to see this decision."

Liu was arrested in Minnesota on Aug. 31 on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct. The police department subsequently released Liu, who returned to China. No bail was set.

Beijing-based and New York-listed JD.com released a Sept. 2 statement on its official Weibo social media account in China that Liu had been falsely accused while in the U.S. on a business trip.

The Chinese executive was in Minneapolis as part of the doctor of business administration program run by the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management which operates in partnership with Beijing's Tsinghua University.

Liu owns 16.75% of JD.com outstanding shares, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data as of Feb. 28.

Shares of JD.com were up 2.94% to $21.70 in after-hours trading.