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The founder and CEO of the Chinese e-commerce company JD.com was arrested in Minneapolis on Friday on suspicion of sexual misconduct.

Founded by Liu in 1998, JD.com is Alibaba's primary rival and China's second-largest e-commerce company.

He was arrested shortly before midnight local time on Friday and was released just after 4pm on Saturday, according to the website of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.

Jail records did not provide details on Liu's arrest or the alleged incident, and police said they could comment because it's an active investigation.

A Minneapolis police department spokesperson said over the weekend the investigation was "active" but Liu hadn't been charged.

The company said he had been on a business trip in the United States when he was questioned about an "unsubstantiated accusation", according to a statement posted on Sunday to the Chinese social network Weibo.

Major investors include Walmart, which owns a 10% stake, and Chinese tech giant Tencent, which holds 18%, according JD's latest annual report.

The New York Times reported Liu has returned to China where he has become the talk of the nation.

The statement, contradicting USA police, added authorities found no evidence of misconduct and released Mr Liu to continue his trip. JD.com is now testing drone deliveries in rural areas and recently unveiled a robot-run warehouse in Shanghai that can package 200,000 orders per day with the help of only four human engineers. The companies will also partner on retail projects in United States, Europe and Southeast Asia, potentially helping JD grow beyond China and compete with the likes of Amazon. He declined to say where in Minneapolis Liu was arrested or what Liu was accused of doing. He tried to distance himself from a sexual assault that was said to have taken place after a 2015 party at his penthouse in Australia.

Longwei Xu, a property developer, was later found guilty of seven counts.

Police in the USA 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. Liu started his business by opening a counter store in Beijing selling computer parts.