The three UCLA basketball players who had been detained for a week in China have returned home.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, said he had personally requested assistance on their behalf from his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
LiAngelo Ball (son of LaVar Ball), Jalen Hill and Cody Riley had been held after being accused of stealing designer sunglasses from a Chinese mall.
Players were "headed for 10 years in jail", says Trump
Trump solved the issue during his two-day state visit to Beijing, arriving a day after the players were detained.
According to a US official who preferred to remain anonymous, after the US president took-over the matter, Xi promised to take care of the case and guaranteed that the players would be treated fairly.
Depending on the value of the goods, shoplifting can bring jail time in China. The prices of the sunglasses the players were accused of stealing have not been reported.
The three college basketballers, taken into custody on Tuesday, were released early on Wednesday, under the condition that they remain at their hotel in Hangzhou as the legal process was carried out.
The White House chief of staff said that China agreed to reduce the charges on the students, allowing them to return home.
After his successful negotiations, Trump is expecting a “thank you” from the three college basketball players, since he saved them from spending 10 years in a Chinese jail - at least, that's what he posted on Twitter.
Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 15 November 2017
However, the first-year UCLA students, who have just arrived in Los Angeles, haven’t made a public statement yet.
UCLA's China game
The UCLA basketball team visited China for the Pac-12 China Game, a season-opening match against Georgia Tech.
Without the help of the three detained players, the match was won 63-60 by the Californians.
On Monday, UCLA officials declined to comment on the events.