- Liu Qiangdong was detained for 16 hours in Minneapolis over the weekend over an unspecified sexual misconduct allegation.
- He was ultimately released with no charge and no bail requirement. He has since returned to China.
- New police records have shown that the accusation leading to his arrest was one of rape.
- Details on the allegation are scant. Police said the investigation is ongoing.
- Liu had been in Minneapolis to attend a business management course at the University of Minnesota.
- JD.com shares fell following news of the CEO’s arrest.
Liu Qiangdong, the billionaire founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, was arrested in the US over a rape accusation, police records say.
The 45-year-old, who was briefly detained in Minneapolis over the weekend, faces a first-degree felony if he is charged with the crime, the Associated Press and the South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday, citing police records.
First-degree rape is the most severe charge of sexual assault under Minnesota law. If charged and convicted, Liu could be sentenced to 30 years in prison.
When his arrest first became public, the allegations were described as unspecified sexual misconduct, without the further detail of rape which was published on the back of new documents on Wednesday.
Full details of the allegations are not public at the moment. The Minneapolis police department previously declined to give further details of the case and circumstances of the arrest “because this is an active criminal investigation.”
Business Insider has contacted Liu’s lawyers for further comment.
Liu, also known as Richard, was arrested late Friday night and released 16 hours later. He was not charged and was given no bail requirement, a spokeswoman for his company told Business Insider earlier this week.
JD.com on Sunday said Liu had been falsely accused, and that it “will take the necessary legal action against false reporting or rumours.”
Liu had been in Minneapolis to complete a residency at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, the Associated Press reported, citing a spokeswoman from the university.
The tech CEO was there from August 26 to September 1 to study at the university’s US-China business administration doctorate program.
The course is typically for tech industry executives, and involves working on dissertation ideas, networking with local companies, and being taken to football games and museums in Minneapolis, Bloomberg reported.
Liu is estimated to be the 16th-richest person in China, and the 140th-richest person in the world, with a net worth of $US10.8 billion.
JD.com, is the second-largest Chinese e-commerce company after Alibaba. It reaped a net profit of 50.8 billion yuan ($US7.8 billion) in its 2017 fiscal year, the company said in its annual statement.
The company’s shares dropped 4% before Tuesday’s opening bell following news of Liu’s arrest.
Liu is married to Zhang Zetian, who at 24 is China’s youngest female billionaire. They have one daughter together.
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