JD.com's billionaire CEO released after US arrest

Hennepin County Sheriff's Office

The 45-year-old businessman was released from jail on Saturday afternoon pending possible criminal charges, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

"Mr Liu Qiangdong encountered a false accusation while on business in the USA", the company said in a statement on the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo.

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

Though police have released no details regarding the allegations against Liu, the Financial Times has reported that the case involves Liu and a Chinese student at the university, rumors that have also been spreading on Chinese social media. He is worth an estimated $7.3 billion, CBS News reported. JD.com's CEO was "wrongly charged with sexual assault during a business trip in the US", the company said on its official Sina Weibo account.

Liu is known for pushing the company toward "100 percent" automation and speaking at global conferences about reducing the need for workers.

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

"The decision was made not to hold him in custody while we conducted the investigation", Elder told Fox 9.

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The company is backed by Walmart Inc, Alphabet Inc's Google and China's Tencent Holdings.

Police in the USA haven't released the name of the complainant but Chinese social media users circulated photos of a young woman whom they said was the victim.

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.

His wife, Zhang Zetian, some 19 years younger, is a businesswomen and internet celebrity. An Australian court found one of Liu's penthouse guests guilty of rape in an incident from 2015.

The University of Minnesota said Liu, whose Chinese name is Liu Qiangdong, was a student in its doctor of business administration program, which primarily takes place in Beijing in partnership with the prestigious Tsinghua University and is aimed at full-time executives.

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

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