JD.com's billionaire CEO released after U.S. arrest

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- Chinese billionaire Liu Qiangdong, also known as Richard Liu, the founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com, was arrested in Minneapolis on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct, jail records show.

JD.com, one of China's tech heavyweights, competes with larger rival Alibaba Group (BABA.N), and Liu has a net worth of $7.9 billion, according to Forbes.

Records from Hennepin County Jail showed Liu, founder and CEO of Chinese online retail giant JD.com, was arrested over the misconduct allegations late Friday night and released Saturday afternoon.

Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder said the investigation is still active but Liu hasn't been charged with a crime.

In addition, JD.com also threatened legal action against those publishing false reports and rumors. Elder said it is his understanding that Liu is still in the United States.

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JD.com, has said that the accusation against Liu, 45, was unsubstantiated. Liu, who was not accused of wrongdoing, had asked an Australian court to keep his name from public view, arguing association with the incident could hurt his business and marriage to the business executive Zhang Zetian, another celebrity figure. The #MeToo movement that has highlighted sexual misconduct has derailed the careers of well known entertainers, corporate executives and politicians in the United States and other countries, and has begun to find traction in China too. A guest at the party, Longwei Xu, was found guilty this July of seven charges, including having sex with his accuser without her consent.

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

Born into a poor farming family in northern Jiangsu province, Liu is arguably less well-known outside China unlike Jack Ma, Tencent Holdings' Pony Ma Huateng and Baidu's Robin Li Yanhong, who recently made to the cover of the Time magazine.

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 USA and Europe, both companies said in a statement. Liu started his business by opening a counter store in Beijing selling computer parts.