Business tycoon, philanthropist, and investor Wang Jianlin were born in China on October 24, 1954. He founded the Dalian Wanda Group, the biggest operator of movie theatres in the world and a major player in the real estate sector in China.
Atlético Madrid, a Spanish football team, was once 17 per cent in his possession. The China Cup, in which national football teams compete in Nanning, Guangxi every year, was established in 2016 thanks to a deal Wang made with FIFA.
Wang served as the government of Guiyang’s building consultant as well as the province of Yunnan’s economic consultant. He was also recognized as a “excellent contributor” to the construction of Dalian and a distinguished citizen of Changchun.
The oldest of five sons, Wang Jianlin was born on October 24, 1954, in Cangxi County, Guangyuan, Sichuan. During the Long March, which took place between October 1934 and October 1935, his father, Wang Yiquan, was a peasant who fought for Mao Zedong’s People’s Liberation Army.
His father, who worked for the forestry service after leaving the army just before the Korean War, and mother Qin Jialin relocated to a village in Jinchuan County, Sichuan, where their son would grow up. His birth name means “forest creator” in English.
Wang lied about his age when he enlisted in the army at the age of 15, rose swiftly through the ranks, and at the age of 27, became a commander. He served in Chengdu during his stint in the military before being transferred to the Shenyang Military Region in 1970. Wang began working as the office administrator for the Xigang District in the city of Dalian in 1986, after serving for 17 years in the army.
He acquired the modest real estate developer Xigang Residential Development in 1988 with the aid of an $80,000 loan. He was promoted to general manager and changed his name to Dalian Wanda in 1992, when the company became one of the first in a pilot program to go public.
His business owns 21.57 million square meters of investment property, 168 Wanda Shopping Plazas, 82 opulent hotels, 213 movie theatres, 99 department shops, and 54 karaoke bars all around China. When the firm purchased AMC Theatres in 2012, it rose to the position of largest theatre owner in the world.
For US$2.6 billion, he acquired AMC Entertainment, which is situated in the US. In December, he announced its New York Stock Exchange listing. In order to help kick off an $8 billion mini-Hollywood in the coastal city of Qingdao in January 2014, he flew in actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Beckinsale, and John Travolta.
The historic Edificio Espaa building in Madrid, Spain, was purchased by Wanda Group from Grupo Santander in March 2014 for “roughly a third less than the €389 million that Banco Santander paid in 2005, at the height of Spain’s construction boom.” Previously, Dalian Wanda had undertaken real estate ventures in India, as well as billion-dollar hotel construction projects in London and New York.
In order to construct the American headquarters of his entertainment company, dubbed “One Beverly Hills,” he purchased land at 9900 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California in 2014. He reportedly paid €45 million to acquire a 20% share in the Spanish football team Atlético Madrid in January 2015. 2018 saw him sell his interest to Quantum Pacific Group for an unknown sum.
As a direct competitor to Shanghai Disneyland Park, Wang announced in 2016 that he will open over a dozen rival amusement parks in an effort to prevent Shanghai Disneyland Park from making any money in China.
The purchase of Dick Clark Productions, which would have given Wang’s Dalian Wanda Group the broadcasting rights to the New York City New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and the Golden Globe Awards, was revealed in November 2016 for a price of roughly $1 billion. The American movie theatre chain AMC Entertainment Holdings and Legendary Entertainment, a co-producer of movies including Jurassic World, are already owned by Wanda.
His son Wang Sicong, who attended Winchester College and University College London in the UK, is the child of his marriage to Lin Ning and them. Through his Beijing-based private equity fund, Prometheus Capital, Wang Sicong, a member of the Wanda Group’s board of directors, invests in venture capital in China.
Even though he doesn’t consider himself religious, Wang practices Buddhism. He maintains military discipline in his daily life as a result of his extensive military experience. His performances of traditional music from Mongolia and Tibet are equally well-known. He enjoys karaoke singing and art collecting.
Wang paid GB£80 million in December 2015 to acquire London’s 15a Kensington Palace Gardens. The property was formerly occupied by billionaire Leonard Blavatnik of Ukraine, who rented it out while undergoing extensive renovations on the home he owned across the street.
The Wanda Way: The Management Philosophy and Values of One of China’s Biggest Companies, written by Wang, was published in July 2016. LID Publishing released the book in every country. The acclaimed 2013 China Central Television Voice interview, his lecture and question-and-answer session at the Harvard Business School, and Wang’s business philosophies on Wanda’s real estate, resort, and film units are all included in the book.
Wang Jianlin With His Wife
Politics and Charity
Wang enlisted in the People’s Liberation Army at the age of 15, first working as a border guard before progressing to the position of regimental commander. He served in the PLA for 17 years. The Communist Party of China welcomed him in 1976. For the 17th National Congress, he served as a deputy.
In the Chinese National People’s Congress, Wang is a representative. The “Economic Person of the Year” on CCTV twice honoured him. He has served as the vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce since 2008, and he is a participant in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
He serves as vice chair of several organizations, including the China Folk Chamber of Commerce, the China Enterprise Confederation, the China Enterprise Directors Association, the China General Chamber of Commerce, and the Global Advisory Council of Harvard University. He is also vice chair of the China Charity Confederation.
His 2011 charity donations totalled US$197 million, which he used to fund projects including the renovation of a historic Nanjing temple. He gave a donation of $200,000 in 2014 and 2015 to help Beverly Hills, California’s Electric Fountain get back to its original beauty. Given that he had grown up in Ngawa Prefecture, it was thought that he had a special understanding of the region and donated CNY 20 million in 2017 to aid Sichuan landslide victims.
The Chinese Communist Party and Wang continue to have a strong relationship. The IPO of Dalian Wanda saw a rise in equity to over $1.1 billion when the company was public, according to a 2015 New York Times report. This occurred as a result of families of high-ranking Party leaders accumulating a share in the company before the IPO. These family members consist of Wen Jiabao’s daughter as well as Qi Qiaoqiao, Xi Jinping’s sister.
On the contrary, Wang’s personal adage is to “keep politics far from the government.” In his opinion, businesspeople should be both “near” to and “clean” of the government. The government won’t be able to learn what entrepreneurs want to invest in, create, or solve if they never speak with them.
In 2010, Wang gave the city of Nanjing a billion yuan (US$156 million) to help with the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing renovation. According to reports, this is the greatest single personal donation ever given in China.
In the past, Wang Jianlin was the wealthiest person in Asia. He was actively developing his Dalian Wanda Group Co. by purchasing prized assets abroad with the help of easy credit.
After losing almost $32 billion of his own fortune in less than six years, the 66-year-old no longer even ranks among China’s top 30 richest people. This is the largest loss of any billionaire during that time. In order to turn around his entertainment-to-property enterprise and reduce the group’s overall debt of 362 billion yuan ($56 billion), Wang must overcome the scepticism of the bond market.
Earlier, when a larger slump rocked the Asian credit market, some of Wanda’s dollar bonds were among the first to fall. These bonds were braced for a wall of maturing onshore notes that was expected to climax this year.
Investors watching to see how Wang will manage to steer his group clear of the debt issues that have shaken peers like HNA Group Co., China Evergrande Group, and Anbang Group Holdings Co. were forewarned by the selloff, which was partially brought on by worries about the impending payments.
Wanda Wang is still selling off some of the properties she acquired when she once went on a binge-buying spree and bought Atletico Madrid in Spain with the intention of competing with Walt Disney Co. The most recent was when Wanda relinquished control of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. last week; as a result, less than 10% of the largest chain of movie theatres in the world is now under Wanda’s control.
Despite the disposals made in response to a government crackdown on credit-fueled growth, Wanda Group’s debt as of June grew to its highest level since 2017. The pandemic has only made matters worse by negatively impacting the country’s hotels, theme parks, malls, movie theatres, and sporting events.
Wang is getting the much-needed time he needs to right his ship as China’s economy stabilizes once the virus has been contained thanks to the reopening of movie theatres and shopping centres. He is moving on with the “asset-light” model, a strategy to lessen leverage that he has always supported.
By reducing the amount of land you buy, you can save money. One of the largest mall operators in the world, Dalian Wanda Commercial Management Group Co., which generates roughly half of the group’s revenue, announced to Chinese media in September that it will cease purchasing plots and instead license its name to partners rather than continue to buy them.
Wang Jianlin has consistently rated well on billionaire lists from around the world.
With US$8.6 billion in wealth, Forbes listed him as the 128th richest person in the world the year before. With a net worth of $14.2 billion in the United States, Bloomberg ranked him as the richest person in China in August 2013. According to data from the Hurun Report, his net worth reached $22 billion in September 2013.
He had US$25 billion in wealth in 2014, ranking him as the 25th richest person in the world, citing the Hurun Report. With US$9.9 billion in wealth, Bloomberg ranked him as the richest person in Asia in 2015. He had US$28.7 billion in wealth in 2016, according to Forbes, making him the richest person in Asia.
He was the richest person in China with a net worth of $31.3 billion when Forbes listed him 18th on its 2017 World’s Billionaires list one year later. Due to a spike in the stock price of Ma’s Alibaba Group, however, Jack Ma surpassed Wang Jianlin on May 14 to become the richest person in China.
Wang’s real estate empire and chain of movie theatres both experienced a steep collapse in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and he dropped significantly in the rich list. He was rated outside the top 10 on Forbes’ 2020 list of the wealthiest Chinese billionaires, with an estimated net worth of $14 billion.
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