Kolomoisky and his colleagues have denied allegations of money laundering, but haven’t issued any denials pertaining to the real estate purchases themselves.
Why is Jianlin Wang so wealthy in real estate?
Wang Jianlin was born on October 24, 1954, in Cangxi County, Sichuan, China, to an army-officer father. His father had fought for the ‘People’s Liberation Army’ during the notorious ‘Long March’ in the mid-30s. Raised in an army family, Jianlin was accustomed to strict discipline from an early age. His family wanted him to join the army.
At the age of 15, Wang followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the ‘People’s Liberation Army’ as a border guard. His work ethics had him quickly promoted to the post of regiment commander. He went on to serve the army for 17 years. In 1976, he joined the ‘Communist Party of China’ and served as the deputy to the 17th ‘National Congress.’
His service and loyalty toward the communist party continued throughout his entire life and further helped him pursue his business goals, including his real estate ventures.
After spending 17 long years with the army, Wang went on to work as an office administrator in Dalian. Toward the late 80s, he was made the general manager of ‘Xigang Residential Development.’ In 1992, he finally joined the ‘Dalian Wanda Group’ as its chairperson.
Under Wang’s leadership, the company grew fast. At present, the company owns a massive investment property of 21.57 million square meters. The ‘Dalian Wanda Group’ owns 82 luxury hotels, 99 departmental stores, 213 cinemas, 54 karaoke centers, and 168 Wanda Shopping Plazas in China alone. Its acquisition of ‘AMC Theatres’ in 2012 further made it the biggest theater owner in the world.
The deal for the US-based ‘AMC Entertainment’ was finalized for a whopping sum of US$ 2.6 billion. Wang has since succeeded in enlisting the company with the ‘New York Stock Exchange.’
Wang’s long-time dream of opening a mini-Hollywood in China was realized in 2014, with the inauguration of the same in the city of Qingdao. Several Hollywood celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Beckinsale, and John Travolta attended the launch of Wang’s mini-Hollywood, which required US$ 8 billion to be built.
Soon, the company further invested in billion-dollar hotel construction projects in New York and London. It also led some property projects in India. ‘Edificio Espana,’ a landmark building in Spain, was acquired by the ‘Wanda Group’ from ‘Grupo Santander,’ a Spanish company.
With heightened aspiration to become the biggest entertainment company in the world, the ‘Wanda Group’ soon revealed its plans to build the world’s largest studio pavilion. The project, which also includes an underwater stage with a 10,000 square meter studio, is being built at Oriental Movie Metropolis. In 2014, Wang acquired a large piece of land in Beverly Hills to construct the headquarters for his entertainment company.
In November 2016, it was announced that the ‘Dalian Wanda Group’ was looking to acquire ‘Dick Clark Productions,’ which would give it the broadcasting rights of the ‘Golden Globe’ awards. This would also give ‘Wanda’ the right to broadcast the ‘Academy of Country Music Awards’ and the ‘New Year Countdown’ celebration at Times Square in New York. ‘Legendary Entertainment,’ a US-based film-production company has been acquired by the ‘Wanda Group.’ If the company’s long-term plans are realized as planned, it will soon be able to rule Hollywood.
’The Economist,’ reportedly described Wang as “a man of Napoleonic ambitions,” due to his larger-than-life aspirations. He is also known to be very strict about the dress code of his employees. This discipline is attributed to his army background.
Over the years, Wang has received many awards in the areas of business and philanthropy. In 2013, ‘Forbes Asia,’ named him the ‘Businessman of the Year,’ and in 2015, he topped a list of Chinese philanthropists compiled by ‘Forbes China.’
In addition, he has been named ‘The Best CEO in Asia’ by the ‘Asia Corporate Governance Magazine’ in 2015. The very next year, he aced the list of the ‘Top 10 China Power Players,’ released by ‘Hollywood Reporter.’
In 2015, he was named the richest person in Asia by ‘Bloomberg,’ and a year prior to that, ‘Hurun Report’ had stated that he was the 25th richest person in the world. In 2017, ‘Forbes’ magazine claimed that he was the richest man in China, a spot which was later acquired by Jack Ma.