Tech billionaire returns to China after USA arrest

Tech billionaire returns to China after USA arrest

JD.com, which stands for Jingdong, is the rival of the popular Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba Group led by CEO Daniel Zhang.

JD.com, the company in which Liu has a large controlling stake, told the Reuters news agency on Monday that he was back in China and back at work.

Liu's company released a statement that denied he had done anything wrong.

Chuck Laszewski, a spokesman for the Hennepin County attorney's office, said it was unusual for a detainee to be released so quickly after a Friday night arrest, especially before a holiday weekend.

The Minneapolis Police Department said the investigation remained active and would not confirm details of the arrest or the allegations against the 45-year-old Liu.

FILE PHOTO - JD.com founder Richard Liu attends a Reuters interview in Hong Kong, China June 9, 2017.

Liu founded the company about two decades ago.

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Major investors include Walmart, which owns a 10% stake, and Chinese tech giant Tencent, which holds 18%, according JD's latest annual report.

Liu, who also goes by the name, "Richard Liu", is registered as a student in the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management doctor of business administration China program, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

University spokeswoman Emma Bauer in a statement declined to comment further and referred questions to Minneapolis police.

China's foreign ministry said its consulate in Chicago was closely watching the situation. Liu, a married father-of-two, is said to be worth an estimated $7.9billion United States dollars. He tried to distance himself from a sexual assault that was said to have taken place after a 2015 party at his penthouse in Australia.

As JD.com aims to spread beyond Asia, Liu has lately sought to raise his profile among global business leaders.

Legal troubles for Liu could darken perceptions overall of JD.com, whose shares trade on the Nasdaq stock market in NY and have a market value of around US$50 billion.

Longwei Xu, a property developer, was later convicted of the crime.

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