Wang Jianlin, a former People’s Liberation Army soldier who is now a real estate mogul and the world’s largest cinema chain operator, is the richest person in China.
From the construction of luxury hotel properties to the purchase of a world-famous football club to his grand plans for the future of entertainment, scroll through to get up to speed on Jianlin’s global empire.
From 1970 to 1986 Wang served in the Chinese Army. He credits this time for his unwavering perseverance: 'Without those years of experience, I probably wouldn't have had so much anti-stress capability and so firm a determination.'
Wang borrowed $80,000 to get his company Dalian Wanda Group off the ground. He's been chairman of Wanda Group, now China's largest real estate developer, since 1988.
Wanda Hotels and Resorts Co Ltd has opened 71 five star and luxury five star hotels across China to date. Wang has billion dollar investments in properties in Sydney, London, Chicago and Los Angeles. He's on his way to becoming the world's biggest owner of five-star hotels.
Wanda Group is currently building One Nine Elms, a luxury riverside hotel and apartment building in London that will rise 60 stories and boast views of the London Eye and Westminster Abbey.
Another division of Wanda Group, The Wanda Culture Industry Group, is China's largest cultural enterprise with an annual revenue of $5.5 billion. It operates in ten arenas including theme parks, performing arts, and film technology entertainment.
Wanda Plaza, Wang's trademark property, has over 100 locations in all of China's major cities, making it the country's largest department store chain.
Not only does Wanda Group own 150 movie theatres in China, but it owns another 380 locations across the US, Canada, Japan, and other countries. Wang bought the US's struggling AMC Entertainment franchise for $2.6 billion in 2012.
'Superstar,' China's largest 'wholesome' karaoke chain is operated by Wanda Group. It currently has 90 locations and expects to open another 40 by the end of the year.
Earlier this year, Wang bought a 20% stake (at $52 million) in Spanish football club Atletico Madrid.
Wang has only one son: 27-year-old Wang Sicong, who's been nicknamed 'The National Husband' by Chinese media. He's made a few outspoken remarks that his father later defended, blaming his son's 'western education.' Sicong is a board member of Wanda Group and chairman of the private investment firm Prometheus Capital.
However, many people in China have criticised Wang Sicong for being too obsessed with money, sex, and violence. He certainly flaunts his wealth: Wang Sicong recently posted a photo of his dog wearing two gold Apple Watches (each valued at $10,000).
Wang purchased Sunseeker Yachts International in 2013 for $503 million. The UK-based luxury yacht maker's boats are exclusively featured in the James Bond film series.
Wang owns two Gulfstream 550 private jets (each powered by two Rolls Royce engines) that transport him to and from Wanda Group headquarters in Beijing, China.
In recent years, the billionaire has become a passionate art collector. He purchased Picasso's 'Claude and Paloma' for $28 million in 2013. In May, he won a $20.4 million bid for a Claude Monet painting.
'Many people come knock at my door, but Wanda is only interested in the big players, and we want control,' Wang told Bloomberg News. He's currently in talks to buy a large stake in independent film studios Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
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