JD CEO's arrest steps on governance landmine

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Liu is well known in China and has a net worth of $7.9bn, according to Forbes.

JD.com, backed by Walmart Inc WMT.N , Alphabet Inc's GOOGL.O Google, and China's Tencent Holdings Ltd 0700.HK , said in a statement on Sunday that Liu, whose Chinese name is Liu Qiangdong, was falsely accused.

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.

One of China's richest businessmen, Liu Qiangdong, has returned home after his arrest for alleged sexual misconduct in the United States over the weekend, with the foreign ministry here saying on Monday it is "closely following" the matter.

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

JD.com is one of China's tech heavyweights, competing with larger rival Alibaba.

A Minneapolis police department spokesman declined to provide further details about the reasons for the arrest, adding authorities decided not to keep Liu in custody.

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The Chinese Consulate in Chicago is "closely following the relevant situation" and trying to verify facts regarding the situation, ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters at a daily briefing. Elder said it is his understanding that Liu is still in the United States.

He attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland for the first time this year and shared parts of his life story at the alpine gathering of executives, politicians and Hollywood celebrities.

JD.com denied the charge against Liu.

The University of Minnesota said Liu was a student in its China-focused doctor of business administration program for senior executives.

Legal troubles for Liu could darken perceptions overall of JD.com, whose shares trade on the Nasdaq stock market in NY and have a market value of around US$50 billion.

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". In 2015, a model said she was sexually assaulted by a man after they had partied at Liu's Australian penthouse. The defendant was found guilty of seven offenses, according to a court document.

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