JD.com's billionaire CEO released after U.S. arrest

Liu founded JD.com, China's second largest shopping site estimated to be worth approximately $45 billion.

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".

University spokeswoman Emma Bauer referred questions to the Minneapolis Police Department. The Chinese consulate in Chicago is "closely following the relevant situation" and trying to verify facts regarding the matter, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing on Monday.

Records from Hennepin County Jail showed Liu, founder and CEO of Chinese online retail giant JD.com, was arrested over the misconduct allegations late Friday night and released Saturday afternoon.

He owns almost 16% of the company's shares and controls just under 80% of its voting rights, giving him huge sway over key decisions.

As JD.com aims to spread beyond Asia, Liu has lately sought to raise his profile among global business leaders.

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

Google recently made a $550 million investment in the Beijing-based company.

Business Insider has contacted JD.com for further comment.

Zhang, described by Chinese media as 24, shot to fame while a student in 2009 when a photo of her holding a cup of milk tea went viral, giving her the nickname "sister milk tea".

An Australian court revealed in July that the chief executive had sought to hide information in the wake of a sexual assault that happened after a 2015 party at his Australian residence, according to the New York Times.

Police in the U.S. 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. Elder said it is his understanding that Liu is still in the United States.

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

Trade in JD.com shares is set to resume on Tuesday as US markets are closed for the Labor Day holiday on Monday. He had to shut it down in 2003 after severe acute respiratory syndrome struck China causing people to stay at home for fear of catching the deadly disease, the Hong Kong based South China Morning Post reported.

  • Anthony Vega