(Bloomberg) -- Chinese police said they have released U.K. consulate employee Simon Cheng after more than two weeks of detention.

Cheng was released on Saturday after a 15-day administrative detention period expired, police in the Chinese city of Shenzhen said in a post on the Weibo social media platform.

Cheng’s family earlier announced his return in a Facebook post Saturday morning, and said he is taking time to “rest and recover.” The post was later removed, with no reason provided.

“Simon is safe,” Max Chung, a friend of Cheng’s who organized a rally that sought his release, said in a text message.

Cheng is employed by the U.K. consulate and works for Scottish Development International, which encourages firms to do business with Scotland. He failed to return home to Hong Kong from an Aug. 8 meeting in the adjacent Chinese city of Shenzhen.

The Communist Party’s Global Times newspaper said Aug. 22 that Chen had been detained on suspicion of soliciting prostitutes, citing Shenzhen police. His family hit back at that claim, saying in a Facebook post: “Everyone can take this as a joke.”

--With assistance from Aaron Mc Nicholas.

To contact the reporters on this story: Natnicha Chuwiruch in Bangkok at nchuwiruch@bloomberg.net;Sheryl Tian Tong Lee in Hong Kong at slee1905@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Shoko Oda

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