Dalian Wanda Group, controlled by billionaire Wang Jianlin, has filed defamation suits against at least 10 Chinese social media accounts that published reports the company says sent its shares and bonds tumbling, the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to a copy of one lawsuit reviewed by the Journal, Wanda is taking issue with claims that Wang was detained by police at Tianjin’s airport last month and barred from leaving China.
The lawsuit said the social media report was false but widely read and forwarded online, “triggering a market panic” that led to a drop in Wanda’s bond prices and a nearly 10 percent decline in the shares of its Hong Kong-listed unit.
The article also hurt Wanda’s reputation, ability to obtain financing and led to the stagnation of its investment projects, the lawsuit alleged.
The other lawsuits make similar claims, the Journal cited a source familiar with the matter as saying.
Wanda said in a statement that the suits have been accepted by Chinese courts and that it is seeking 5 million yuan in damages as well as a public apology from the social media accounts.
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