Wanda's Wang shifts from real estate to films and charity

( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-02-12 08:14:53

Wanda's Wang shifts from real estate to films and charity

Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, speaks at an event in Beijing on Feb 10.[Photo/Agencies]

Reclining in a beige leather seat in his Gulfstream G550 private jet, Wang Jianlin barks an unlikely order as the aircraft descends into a remote pocket of southwestern China.

From Beijing to Hollywood to London and elsewhere in his expanding property, film and entertainment empire, the chairman of Beijing-based Dalian Wanda Group is a stickler for formality.

He empowers receptionists to fine employees who fail to meet his dress standards.

Today, though, China's second-richest man is clad in khaki pants and sneakers. And as the jet prepares to land in China's poorest province, Guizhou, he instructs his entourage to follow his example.

"This is a trip to lift poverty," Wang tells them.

"Suits are not appropriate."

Swiftly, all jackets are discarded.

Following the December initial public offering of one of Dalian Wanda's listed units and last month's IPO of another, his fortune almost doubled to $28.6 billion as of Monday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Wang's empire had revenue of $40 billion last year. He controls the world's largest chain of movie theaters, measured by the number of movie screens, and the second-largest commercial property company, measured by leasable floor space.

He has even taken a shot at helping to narrow the wealth gap between China's rural poor and new rich. Hence his appearance at Danzhai, where he trudges through pigsties while talking up the $160 million worth of planned philanthropic investments.

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