Chinese billionaire Richard Liu released after Minnesota arrest
Chinese billionaire Richard Liu released after Minnesota arrest
Liu Qiangdong, CEO of Chinese tech giant JD.com, in sex assault probe
03 September, 2018, 19:11
In addition to making Liu the highest-profile Chinese businessperson to be accused publicly of sexual misconduct, the case has raised concerns that loss-making Nasdaq-listed JD.com could face difficulties making decisions due to its unusual governance structure.
Mr. Liu, 45, was taken into custody by Minneapolis police on Friday and released the next day.
"Born into a poor farming family in northern Jiangsu province, Liu is arguably less well-known outside China than his fellow billionaire countrymen like Alibaba Group Holding's Jack Ma Yun, Tencent Holdings' Pony Ma Huateng and Baidu's Robin Li Yanhong, who recently made the cover of Time magazine", Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
Liu, founder and CEO of Chinese online retailer JD.com, was arrested late Friday night in the midwestern city of Minneapolis and released Saturday afternoon.
A Minneapolis police department spokesman declined to provide further details about the reasons for the arrest, adding authorities decided not to keep Liu in custody.
China's Foreign Ministry said Monday it had launched an investigation into the circumstances of Liu's arrest.
JD.com said in a statement on Sunday that Liu was falsely accused while in the United States for a business trip and police found no evidence of misconduct.
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"I'm not aware of any other company that has similar rules", said Chris Leahy, co-founder of advisory firm Blackpeak and a corporate governance expert.
The arrest comes shortly after Liu was in the spotlight for another incident involving sexual misconduct.
JD.com said Mr Liu, also known as Richard Liu, was falsely accused.
The firms will marry JD's supply chain and logistics experience with Google technology to create "next generation" personalised retail service in regions including Southeast Asia, the United States and Europe, both companies said in a statement.
He has properties overseas and is married to Chinese internet celebrity Zhang Zetian, often referred to by her nickname, Sister Milk Tea, reported to be about 20 years his junior.
There is also no clear successor to Liu, who is both chairman and chief executive, even as JD.com faces an escalating battle with Alibaba and has seen its shares fall 24 percent this year. The defendant was found guilty of seven offenses, according to a court document.
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