Wang Jianlin, China’s second-richest man, believes the high growth phase for real-estate business has come to an end, prompting him to focus more on the entertainment sector.
Wang’s Dalian Wanda Group owns 159 shopping precincts and 71 luxury hotels across China, a commercial property business that is valued at about US$28 billion.
But Wang sees the group’s future elsewhere, the Financial Times reported.
At the lavish opening of his 7 billion yuan (US$1.1 billion) movie theme park and nationalist-themed circus show in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, recently, Wang was quoted as saying that the group needs to transform itself.
“Wanda’s income mainly comes from real estate,” the tycoon was quoted as saying at the event. “But we think the period of high growth for real estate has come to an end. Wanda needs to transform.”
Wanda began to diversify in 2012 when it bought US film-theatre chain AMC Entertainment Group, and is now in talks to buy a stake in Lions Gate Entertainment, the Hollywood film studio, the report noted.
Last year, the group broke ground on a new domestic studio, Oriental Movie Metropolis.
Theme parks, however, represent the group’s most aggressive push into the leisure sector – and a chance to build on its strength in commercial real estate, the report said.
Wanda has planned investments worth 200 billion in 12 theme parks around China. Ventures in Guangzhou and Wuxi will aim to lure visitors from Walt Disney parks in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
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