One of China's richest men was arrested in the US on sexual misconduct allegations, then left the country

Lintao Zhang/ CEO and founder Liu Qiangdong, front, was briefly arrested during a business trip in the US. Here he is in Beijing in March.
  • Liu Qiangdong, the founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant was arrested in Minneapolis over the weekend.
  • He was detained over a sexual-misconduct allegation, which his company says is unfounded.
  • Liu has not been charged with anything, and went back to China afterward.
  • China’s foreign ministry said it is looking into the matter.

Liu Qiangdong, one of the richest men in China, has returned to China after being briefly arrested in the US over a sexual misconduct allegation.

Liu, the founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant, is estimated to be the 16th-richest man in China.

He was arrested on Friday night and released 16 hours later during a business trip in Minneapolis. Hennepin County Sheriff jail records show that he was released without requiring bail.

John Elder, a spokesman for the Minneapolis police department, told Business Insider on Monday that Liu “was released pending formal complaint, which means he is not charged at this time.”

He added, however, that police were still conducting an investigation int othe incident. said in a statement on the Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo, on Monday evening local time, that Liu “has now returned to China to continue work as normal.”

John Elder, a spokesman for the Minneapolis police, told the BBC on Sunday: “There is absolutely no restriction on his travel. The understanding is that if we need to get in touch with him, we will be able to do so.”

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that it had launched an investigation into Liu’s arrest, The Washington Post reported.

The details of the allegation are not clear. Elder declined to provide any further details on the case to Business Insider “because this is an active criminal investigation.”

Business Insider has contacted for further comment. on Sunday said Liu had been falsely accused, and that it “will take the necessary legal action against false reporting or rumours.”

Liu’s arrest came shortly after he tried to distance himself from a different sexual-misconduct scandal. In late July he said he didn’t know anything about a sexual assault that was alleged to have taken place after a party he hosted in Sydney in 2015. He was not accused of any wrongdoing in that case.

Liu, also known as Richard, has a net worth of $US10.8 billion, or £8.4 billion, according to Forbes. He was named by the latest Forbes billionaire list as the 16th-richest person in China and the 140th-richest person in the world. is the second-largest Chinese e-commerce company after Alibaba. The company had 292.5 million active customer accounts in 2017 and reaped a net profit of 50.8 billion yuan, or $US7.8 billion, in its 2017 fiscal year, the company said in its annual statement.

Liu is married to Zhang Zetian, who at 24 is China’s youngest female billionaire.

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