Billionaire internet entrepreneur arrested for sexual misconduct

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Liu's attorneys in Minneapolis, Earl Gray and Joseph Friedberg, told the Wall Street Journal that they don't have specific knowledge of the complaint against Liu, but said their client is innocent.

Investors flinched slightly at the news Friday of Liu's arrest, but JD.com stock value had rebounded by the end of the day. 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.

JD.com said in a statement that the accusation against Liu, 45, was unsubstantiated and "local police quickly determined there was no substance to the claim".

-Chunying Zhang in Shanghai contributed to this article. Elder declined to provide any further details on the case to Business Insider "because this is an active criminal investigation". Liu was never accused of any wrongdoing in that incident.

The billionaire founder of one of China's largest internet companies was arrested last week in Minnesota for alleged sexual misconduct, spending the night in jail before being released the following afternoon. "The understanding is that if we need to get in touch with him, we will be able to do so".

In a statement posted on Weibo, a Chinese social media network, JD.com confirmed that Liu had been arrested over what it said was a false allegation made during a business trip.


JD.com on Sunday said Liu had been falsely accused, and that it "will take the necessary legal action against false reporting or rumours". The investigation remains active.

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

In June, Google announced it would invest more than half a billion dollars in JD.com as part of a move to expand retail services around the world.

Liu's arrest comes as the billionaire is still trying to distance himself from a sexual assault that occurred at a party he hosted in his luxury Sydney penthouse in 2015.

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.

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

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