China’s JD.com: founder returns to Beijing after US arrest

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese e-commerce giant says its billionaire founder, Liu Qiangdong, has returned to China after his arrest in the U.S. on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct.

Zhang Shuhan, a JD.com official, said Monday by phone that “Liu Qiangdong has been released without charges and he is now back in China.”

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.

Liu, 45, was released Saturday afternoon pending possible criminal charges. The jail records don’t provide details of the alleged incident.

Liu’s attorneys in Minneapolis, Earl Gray and Joseph Friedberg, told the Wall Street Journal that they don’t have specific knowledge of the complaint against Liu, but said their client is innocent. Gray said he and Friedberg would represent Liu if charges are filed, but called that prospect “a very remote possibility.”

Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said Sunday that he couldn’t provide any details because the investigation is considered active.

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