A Chinese e-commerce giant says its billionaire founder, Liu Qiangdong, has returned to China after his arrest in the US on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct.
Three American law firms, Rosen, Schall and Pomerantz, said late Tuesday that they would investigate on behalf of shareholders whether JD.com issued misleading statements or failed to disclose information related to Liu's arrest.
Zhang Shuhan, a JD.com official, said Monday by phone that "Liu Qiangdong has been released without charges and he is now back in China".
Liu was arrested on suspicion of criminal sexual conduct on Friday night and released without bail at around 4 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Hennepin County sheriff's jail roster. "The local police quickly determined there was no substance to the claim against Mr. Liu, and he was subsequently able to resume his business activities as originally planned".
On Tuesday, defence attorney Joseph Friedberg said, "They are not going to charge in this case".
Nasdaq-listed JD.com said in a statement Sunday that Liu was falsely accused while in the US on a business trip, and that police investigators found no misconduct and he would continue his journey as planned.
Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said Sunday that he couldn't provide any details because the investigation is considered active.More news: Facebook, Twitter face U.S. Congress over politics and the internet
No charges have been filed against Liu, but if charged and convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison.
Jail records show he was arrested Friday in Minneapolis. China does not have an extradition treaty with the United States. Liu was not charged or accused of any misconduct, however, he did end up losing a legal battle to keep his name out of the court records and the papers.
JD.com, which is China's second-largest e-commerce company after Alibaba, saw its shares plunge in USA trading 6.4% to $29.29 after the Labor Day public holiday.
Liu, a married father-of-two, is said to be worth an estimated $7.9billion.
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.
"Negative publicity could also compromise JD.com's ability to attract worldwide brands to its marketplace, which has been a top focus of the CEO over the past two years or so", Sanderson said.
The case involved a person who had been a guest at a party hosted by Liu at his home in Sydney 2015 who accused another guest of sexually assaulting her at a hotel.