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JD.com CEO released after arrest in US for alleged sexual misconduct

JD.com Inc. Chairman and CEO Liu Qiangdong, also known as Richard Liu, was arrested in Minnesota on Aug. 31 on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct and released while police continue their investigation, according to jail records.

The website of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office shows that Liu was arrested late Aug. 31 by Minneapolis police and held on probable cause before being released during the afternoon of Sept. 1. No bail was set, and details of the alleged incident were not provided.

Beijing-based and New York-listed JD.com said in a Sept. 2 statement posted 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 local police investigators found no misconduct, and he will resume his journey as originally planned," the Chinese online retailer said, adding: "We will take the necessary legal action against false reporting or rumors."

However, Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder said an investigation remained active and it was still uncertain whether there would be charges against Liu, Reuters reported Sept. 2. Elder would not provide any details about the arrest but told the news agency that it is possible for the executive to travel out of the U.S.

JD.com issued another statement via Weibo on Sept. 3 which said Liu has returned to China after being released without any charges or a bail requirement.

The University of Minnesota said Liu participates in its doctor of business administration program, according to Reuters. Students of the educational program for full-time executives, which is operated in partnership with Beijing's Tsinghua University, were reportedly training in Minneapolis during the last week of August.

JD.com's U.S. partners include Walmart Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google LLC.