Chinese billionaire arrested in U.S. for alleged sexual misconduct

Chinese Billionaire Liu

Elder said he did not know if Liu was being represented in the case by a lawyer.

Richard Liu was arrested over the misconduct allegations on Friday. 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.

A spokeswoman for the University of Minnesota said Liu, who is enrolled as a student with the Carlson School of Management's doctor of business administration China program, was in Minneapolis to attend a weeklong residency, from August 26 to September 1.

-Chunying Zhang in Shanghai contributed to this article.

John Elder, a spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department, said, however, that "an active investigation" was underway but it was possible for Liu to leave the United States. He declined to say where in Minneapolis Liu was arrested or what Liu was accused of doing. "The understanding is that if we need to get in touch with him, we will be able to do so". 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.

Also known as Richard Liu, the founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site was arrested in Minneapolis late Friday on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct, according to Hennepin County Jail records.

JD.com, has said that the accusation against Liu, 45, was unsubstantiated.

JD.com is the second-largest Chinese e-commerce company after Alibaba.

Liu was apparently in Minneapolis because he is enrolled as a student at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management in its Doctor of Business Administration China program.

JD.com said in a statement on Sunday on social media that Liu was falsely accused while in the USA on a business trip, but police investigators found no misconduct and that he would continue his journey as planned. In 2015, a model said she was sexually assaulted by a man after they had partied at Liu's Australian penthouse. Liu was not charged or accused of any misconduct, however, he did end up losing a legal battle earlier this year to keep his name out of the records and the press. A guest at the party, Longwei Xu, was found guilty this July of seven charges, including having sex with his accuser without her consent.

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