Tycoon behind Wanda is China's wealthiest man

Mr Wang Jianlin is believed to have turned his attention towards Bandar Malaysia after Wanda abandoned a planned acquisition in the US.
Mr Wang Jianlin is believed to have turned his attention towards Bandar Malaysia after Wanda abandoned a planned acquisition in the US.

Mr Wang Jianlin, controlling shareholder of Dalian Wanda Group, is China's richest man. The group owns the largest chain of cinemas in the world, and also owns theme parks, football clubs, hotels and production studios globally.

Mr Wang had expanded the group in China with a chain of shopping malls under the Wanda brand name, before striking out internationally in 2012 by buying US movie theatre company AMC Entertainment, which owns the world's largest chain of cinemas.

He met Datuk Seri Najib Razak twice, including last November when the Malaysian Prime Minister visited China, Malaysian government officials said.

Mr Wang's attention turned towards Bandar Malaysia after Wanda was forced in March to abandon a planned acquisition of Hollywood's Dick Clark Productions for US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion), owing to China's stringent controls on the outflow of capital.

Malaysian is keen on a partnership as Wanda wants to set up what is seen as an iconic cultural and entertainment platform in the township, an official said.

 

If China regulators allow Wanda to bring out billions of dollars to Malaysia, this would show that Kuala Lumpur's tight ties with Beijing are intact, following the cancellation of the deal with state-owned China Railway Engineering Corp.

Leslie Lopez

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2017, with the headline 'Tycoon behind group is China's wealthiest man'. Print Edition | Subscribe