The Real Deal New York

Dalian Wanda files defamation suit against social media users

Company claims “false” information about Wang Jianlin caused a stock slump
September 06, 2017 12:10PM

Wanda Group chairman Wang Jianlin (Credit: Getty Images)

Chinese real estate giant Dalian Wanda Group is going after at least 10 China-based social media accounts, claiming that “false” reports they published about its chairman Wang Jianlin caused the company stocks to plummet.

The company argues that an “inaccurate” report about Wang being detained by police at Tianjin airport led to “market panic” and caused an almost 10 percent decline in the shares of its publicly listed unit in Hong Kong, according to A Lawsuit Reviewed By The Wall Street Journal.

The suit further argues the report was damaging to the company’s reputation, and has made it difficult for it to secure financing, according to the Journal. Wanda is seeking 5 million yuan ($765,000) and an apology from the social media accounts, according to a statement from the company.

One defendant interviewed by the Journal, a man in Beijing named Wu Xiaowei, said he was simply sharing the report that he’d read somewhere else. He has since deleted the post and apologized.

“The small guy may not have the resources or legal firepower to fight back against a politically connected and financially strong conglomerate,” James Zimmerman, managing partner in the Beijing office of law firm Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, told the newspaper.

Wanda closed its New York City office in 2015 and has no major properties in the city.  However, Wang has expressed interest in investing in New York Hotels and tourism. [WSJ]Miriam Hall