Asia

Meet the Chinese Billionaire Who’s Taking Over Hollywood

Hollywood, meet your new maker.

Wang Jianlin, founder and CEO of Dalian Wanda, is considered as China’s richest man, topping the Forbes’ China Rich List for the third time in the past four years. According to Forbes, the 62-year old magnate is now worth $32.9 billion.

In his younger years, Wang was part of the People’s Liberation Army, where he served for 16 years. He began as a border guard, climbed up in ranks and eventually became a colonel.

In the late 1980s, Wang shifted his interests into real estate and over the years, he steered Wanda into becoming today’s largest real estate company in China. Now, he is set out to conquer the entertainment world.

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Wang has been vocal of his intentions to dominate Hollywood and his recent acquisitions prove he is dead set in seeing his plan come to fruition. He has taken steps in building out Dalian Wanda not only as the largest real estate company but also as the largest entertainment empire.

Among his most notable and latest purchases was Dick Clark Productions, which he bought for a cool $1 billion.

Wang has also purchased the L.A. production firm Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion. The independent movie studio has produced blockbusters such as “Jurassic World” with $1.6 million in sales, “The Dark Knight” series and “Inception”, which a box office gross of $825,532,764.

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In 2012, he bought AMC Theatres for $2.6 billion, adding 300 cinemas to the U.S. to the more than 200 that Wanda already owns and manages back in China, making him the largest cinema owner in the world.

Wang is also eyeing the largest cinema chain in Europe, the Odeon & UCI, and as soon as the European Commission approves it, Wanda will also have the power to operate the company.

The multi-billionaire has earlier said that he intends to bring Hollywood to China through aggressive acquisitions and expressed his interest in wanting to invest in all of the top six Hollywood studios, including Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Walt Disney, Universal Pictures and Columbia.

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“We are interested not only in Paramount, but all of them. If one of the Big Six would be willing to be sold to us, we would be interested,” Wang said.

In July, Wanda expressed its desire to purchase shares of stocks in Paramount.  Plans have stalled, however, and the company ended up co-financing a film with Sony instead.

Not only interested in dominating the real estate and entertainment industry, Wang has shown interest in various fields such as theme parks, art and sports. Wanda has vowed time and again to destroy Disney within China.

China’s richest man has reportedly collected more than 1,000 pieces of artwork. He has also recently purchased a 20 percent stake in Spanish football team Atletico Madrid.

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