China looking into arrest of e-commerce billionaire Liu | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 03.09.2018
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China looking into arrest of e-commerce billionaire Liu

The Chinese government has said it's trying to get more details surrounding the arrest of e-commerce billionaire Liu Qiangdong in the United States. The CEO of JD.com was later released pending possible charges.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Monday it was looking into the circumstances surrounding the arrest of e-commerce billionaire Liu Qiangdong, also known as Richard Liu, in the US on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct.

The Chinese Consulate in Chicago was trying to verify facts regarding the situation, spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reports at a daily briefing.

Hennepin County Jail records showed that Liu, the CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, was arrested late Friday and released Saturday pending possible criminal charges. The jail records didn't provide details of the incident.

John Elder, a spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department, said "an active investigation" was underway, but it was possible for Liu to leave the United States.

Alibaba rival: No misconduct

Nasdaq-listed JD.com said in a statement that Liu was falsely accused of sexual misconduct while in the US on a business trip, and that police investigators found no misconduct, meaning Liu would continue his journey as planned.

The $45 billion (€39 billion) company, which is the main rival of Alibaba Group, said it would take legal action against "false reporting and rumors."

Liu, who is worth an estimated $7.3 billion, owns 16 percent of JD.com and has vast control over major business decisions.

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hg/jd (AP, Reuters)

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