Published: Tue, September 04, 2018
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

E-commerce billionaire from China arrested in Minneapolis

E-commerce billionaire from China arrested in Minneapolis

It added that Liu had continued on with his previously planned agenda following the investigation.

JD.com, the company which Liu founded in 1998, is an e-commerce juggernaut in China and the main competitor to industry leader Alibaba. Gray told Reuters that he expects his client won't end up being charged since he was released without charges or bail.

The statement, contradicting USA police, added authorities found no evidence of misconduct and released Mr Liu to continue his trip.

Reuters has not been able to reach Liu for comment. He declined to provide further details.

The arrest comes shortly after Liu was in the spotlight for another incident involving sexual misconduct.

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.

"I'm not aware of any other company that has similar rules", said Chris Leahy, co-founder of advisory firm Blackpeak and a corporate governance expert.

Liu Qiangdong was released about 16 hours later.

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

The University of Minnesota said Liu was a student in its doctor of business administration program, which primarily takes place in Beijing in partnership with Tsinghua University aimed at full-time executives.

Chuck Laszewski, a spokesman for the Hennepin County attorney's office, said it was unusual for a detainee to be released so quickly after a Friday night arrest, especially before a holiday weekend.

University spokeswoman Emma Bauer referred questions to the Minneapolis Police Department.

China's foreign ministry said Monday that the Chinese Consulate in Chicago is looking into the circumstances surrounding Liu's arrest. The company, worth some $45 billion, has seen its stock lose 24 percent of its value this year amid concerns of weakening growth momentum. In addition, JD.com also threatened legal action against those publishing false reports and rumors. In return, JD.com will join Google's shopping platform. He is also known for his marriage to Chinese internet celebrity Zhang Zetian. "Milk Tea Sister" and Liu met while they were studying in New York City and later married in Australia.

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