Chinese billionaire arrested in Minneapolis accused of felony rape

A sign of China's e-commerce company

Tech billionaire and founder of JD.com Richard Liu returns to China after US arrest

But on Tuesday, the Minneapolis Police Department released an updated report on the case, which said Liu was arrested last week on allegations of "Criminal Sexual Conduct - Rape".

Minnesota law defines five degrees of criminal sexual misconduct, ranging from a gross misdemeanor to felonies, covering a broad array of conduct ranging from nonconsensual touching to violent assaults with injuries.

An attorney for Liu, Earl Gray, said Tuesday that he doesn't expect the CEO will face any charges.

Shares in JD.com, one of China's biggest e-commerce sites, hit an 18-month low on Tuesday.

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Chuck Laszewski, a spokesman for the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, said prosecutors are awaiting the case file before making any decision about potential charges. The jail records don't provide details of the alleged incident. JD has not commented on the ongoing investigation but said in previous statements that the police had not found any misconduct in their probe into Liu.

Mr Elder declined to disclose whether any accuser was cooperating with police. "That goes to the investigation", he said.

If charged and convicted, Liu could face a prison sentence of up to 30 years. China does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

The company faces increased competition not just from established rivals like market leader Alibaba, which owns the South China Morning Post, but also from relative newcomers like Pinduoduo, which has gained market share by selling low-cost items through a combination of group buying and social media.

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Shen Meng, director of boutique investment bank Chanson & Co, said as a US-listed company, the statement from JD is not professional and if the company is really involved in issuing materially misleading business information to the investing public, it might be punished severely or even be delisted from the U.S. bourses.

The company counts Walmart Inc, Alphabet Inc's Google and China's Tencent Holdings as investors. JD's Chief Financial Officer Sidney Huang used the August earnings call to flag 2018 as "an investment year" for the online retailer's logistics division, as it builds more warehouses and acquires new technologies.

"We were informed that our CEO Liu Qiangdong was taken into custody by Minneapolis police on Aug 31". Liu was not accused of any wrongdoing in that case, according to a court document. Although Liu himself was not charged with any wrongdoing, a guest at the party, Longwei Xu, was found guilty of sexually assaulting a young woman he met at the party and took back to his hotel, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

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