Wang Jianlin

Wang Jianlin (Chinese: 王健林; pinyin: Wáng Jiànlín; born 24 October 1954) is a Chinese billionaire businessman, politician, and philanthropist. He is the founder of Dalian Wanda Group, China's largest real estate development company, and the world's largest movie theater operator.[2] He owns 15% of the Spanish football club Atlético Madrid.[3] In 2016, Wang reached a deal with FIFA to launch the China Cup, in which national football teams compete in Asia each year.[4]

Wang Jianlin
Wang Jianlin - Annual Meeting of the New Champions Dalian 2009.jpg
Wang Jianlin at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions of World Economic Forum in Dalian, 2009
Born (1954-10-24) 24 October 1954 (age 65)
Cangxi, China
EducationLiaoning University
OrganizationFounder and chairman, Dalian Wanda Group
Known forWealthiest person in China (2015–2017)[1]
Net worthUS$14.3 billion (May 2020)[2]
Political partyCommunist Party of China
Spouse(s)Lin Ning
ChildrenWang Sicong

Wang has been the economic consultant for Yunnan province, as well as a construction consultant of the Guiyang government, and was named honorable citizen of Changchun city, and "outstanding contributor" to the construction of Dalian city.[5]

As of November 2019, Wang is estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of $12.5 billion, making him one of the richest men in China.[2][6]

Early life and careerEdit

Wang Jianlin was born on 24 October 1954, in Cangxi County, Guangyuan, Sichuan, China. His father fought for Mao Zedong's People's Liberation Army during the Long March (October 1934–October 1935).[7]

After sixteen years in the People's Liberation Army, Wang started working as the office administrator for the Xigang District in the city of Dalian.[8] In 1989, he became the general manager of Xigang Residential Development. He was Head of Factory in a Jiangyin-based factory. In 1988, he started working as the Chairman for the Dalian Wanda Group. He has also been serving as Assistant to the Regional Manager, Assistant Regional Manager and Director in Jiangsu Jiangnan Water Co.[9]

His company owns 21.57 million square metres of investment property, 168 Wanda Shopping Plazas, 82 luxury hotels, 213 cinemas, 99 department stores, and 54 karaoke centres around China. The company became the world's largest theatre owner in 2012 when it acquired AMC Theatres. He bought out U.S.-based AMC Entertainment for US$2.6 billion. He listed it on the New York Stock Exchange in December. He flew in celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Beckinsale, and John Travolta to help launch an US$8 billion mini-Hollywood in the coastal city of Qingdao in January 2014.

Wanda Group acquired the landmark Edificio España building in Madrid, Spain, in March 2014 from Grupo Santander for "about a third less than the €389 million that Banco Santander paid in 2005, at the height of Spain's construction boom".[10] Previously, Dalian Wanda had taken on billion-dollar hotel development projects in London and New York, as well as property projects in India.

In January 2014, he announced plans to build the world's largest studio pavilion at Oriental Movie Metropolis which include a 10,000 square meter studio and an underwater stage.[11]

In 2014, he acquired land at 9900 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California to build the American headquarters named "One Beverly Hills" of his entertainment company.[12]

In January 2015 it was reported that he was buying a 20% stake in the Spanish football club Atlético Madrid for €45m.[13]

In November 2016 Wang's Dalian Wanda Group announced plans to acquire Dick Clark Productions for about US$1 billion, giving it the broadcasting rights to the Golden Globe Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and the New Year countdown celebrations in New York.[14] Wanda already owns Legendary Entertainment, co-producer of films such as Jurassic World, and U.S. cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings.[15]

The Economist called him "a man of Napoleonic ambition", citing his military background in the PLA, where he rose from border guard to regimental commander. He enforces "iron discipline" in the workplace, where employees are fined when they violate the company's conservative dress code. Despite his age, he has a "trim figure".[16]


At the age of 15, Wang started his 17-year service with the People's Liberation Army, initially as a border guard before rising to become a regimental commander.[7][17] In 1976, he joined the Communist Party of China. He served as deputy to the 17th National Congress.[18]

Wang is a delegate to the Chinese National People's Congress.[19] He was twice named CCTV's "Economic Person of the Year".[16] He serves as the Vice-Chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and has been a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference since 2008.[20]

He currently serves as vice chair of the China Charity Confederation; vice chair of the China Folk Chamber of Commerce; vice chair of the China Enterprise Confederation and the China Enterprise Directors Association; vice chair of the China General Chamber of Commerce; vice-chair of the Global Advisory Council of Harvard University.[21]

In 2011, he donated US$197 million to charitable causes,[22] such as underwriting the restoration of an ancient temple in Nanjing.[22] In 2014-2015 he donated US$200,000 for the restoration of the Electric Fountain in Beverly Hills, California.[23]

Mr. Wang maintains a close relationship with the Chinese Communist Party. The New York Times reported in 2015 that relatives of high-ranking Party officials amassed a stake in the company prior to the IPO of Dalian Wanda which appreciated to over $1.1 billion when the company was listed. These relatives include Qi Qiaoqiao, the sister of Xi Jinping, as well as the daughter of Wen Jiabao.[24]

However, Mr. Wang's personal motto is “stay close to the government and distant from politics.”[25] He believes entrepreneurs should be "close" to the government and "clear" from the government as well. "If the government never talk to entrepreneurs, they'll never know what entrepreneurs want to invest, develop or solve."[26]


Wang Jianlin has been ranked prominently in worldwide billionaire lists for years.

The previous year, Forbes ranked him the 128th richest person in the world, with US$8.6 billion.[2] In August 2013, he was listed as the wealthiest person in China with a net worth of US$14.2 billion by Bloomberg.[27] In September 2013, his net worth rose to US$22 billion, according to numbers of the Hurun Report.[28]

According to the Hurun Report, in 2014 he was the 25th richest person in the world with US$25 billion.[29][30]

In 2015, Bloomberg listed him as the richest person in Asia with US$9.9 billion.[31]

According to Forbes, in 2016 he was the richest person in Asia with US$28.7 billion.[32]

A year later, Forbes ranked him 18th in its 2017 World's Billionaires list, making him the richest man in China with a net worth of US$31.3 billion.[33] However, on May 14, Jack Ma overtook Wang Jianlin as the richest man in China, thanks to Ma's Alibaba Group's increases in stock prices.[34]

In 2020, Wang tumbled down the rich list as his real estate empire and movie theatre chains both sharply declined in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. Forbes ranked him outside the top 10 in its 2020 list of Richest Chinese Billionaires with an estaimed networth of $14 billion.[35]

Personal lifeEdit

He is married to Lin Ning (Chinese: 林宁; pinyin: Lín Níng), and has a son, Wang Sicong (Chinese: 王思聪; pinyin: Wáng Sīcōng; born 1988), educated at Winchester College and University College London in the UK.[36] Wang Sicong is currently a board member of the Wanda Group and a venture capitalist in China through his Beijing-based private equity fund, Prometheus Capital (普思投资).[37] He is a follower of Buddhism.[38]

In December 2015 Wang Jianlin bought 15a Kensington Palace Gardens, London, for GB£80 million. The house was previously lived in by the Ukrainian billionaire, Leonard Blavatnik, who rented it during lengthy works on the house he owns opposite.[36]

In July 2016, Wang released his book, The Wanda Way: The managerial philosophy and values of one of China's largest companies. The book was published globally by LID Publishing.[39] The book includes his renowned 2013 ChinaCentral Television Voice interview, his speech and question-and-answer session to the Harvard Business School, and Wang's business philosophy on Wanda's real estate, resort, and movie units.

In 2016, Wang picked a fight with Disney by declaring that he wants to make sure the Magic Kingdom doesn't make any money in China.[40]


  • The Wanda Way: The managerial philosophy and values of one of China's largest companies (2016) ISBN 978-1910649428


  1. ^ "China's Richest Man Plans To Move Headquarters To Shanghai From Beijing". Forbes. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "Forbes profile: Wang Jianlin". Forbes. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  3. ^ "Atletico Madrid: China's Wang Jianlin buys 20% stake - BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-04-26.
  4. ^ "China to host new international tournament to boost national side". Retrieved 2017-03-24.
  5. ^ Vitae, China. "China Vitae : Biography of Wang Jianlin". Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  6. ^ Loudenback, Emmie Martin, Melissa Stanger, Tanza. "The 10 richest people in Asia". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  7. ^ a b Wei, Michael (August 2013). "Property Mogul Emerges as China's Richest Person". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 23 August 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  8. ^ "Biography of Wang Jianlin", World Economic Forum
  9. ^ "Biography of Wang Jialin", Reuters
  10. ^ Minder, Raphael (September 23, 2014). "Sale of a Landmark Skyscraper Puts Spain on the Map of Chinese Investors". New York Times.
  11. ^ "China's richest man invests $8.2bn in world's largest film studio — RT Business". 2013-09-23. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
  12. ^ Clifford Coonan, China's Wanda to Spend $1.2 Billion on Beverly Hills Entertainment HQ, The Hollywood Reporter, 8/8/2014
  13. ^ "Atletico Madrid: China's Wang Jianlin buys 20% stake". BBC. 21 January 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Dick Clark Productions to Be Sold to Chinese Company for $1 Billion". The New York Times. 4 November 2016.
  15. ^ "Deal to Buy Hollywood's Dick Clark Productions Falls Through". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-03-24.
  16. ^ a b "It's a Wanda-ful life". The Economist. February 14, 2015.
  17. ^ "It's a Wanda-Ful Life; Dalian Wanda". The Economist. 14 February 2015. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2015 – via HighBeam Research.
  18. ^ "2010 Forbes ranking", Forbes
  19. ^ Freeland, Chrystia (2013). Plutocrats: The rise of the new global super-rich. London: Penguin Books. p. 204. ISBN 9780141043425.
  20. ^ Wanda Sowa, Wanda Sowa (2014-04-23). "Do humans and noise pollution impact the way birds sing?". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  21. ^ "Chairman Wang Jianlin - Wanda Group". Retrieved 2017-04-14.
  22. ^ a b Russell Flannery, Real Estate Developer Wang Jianlin Tops New Forbes China Philanthropy List, Forbes, April 25, 2011
  23. ^ City to Honor Wanda Group For Generous Fountain Restoration Gift, The Beverly Hills Courier, March 23, 2015
  24. ^
  25. ^ Forsythe, Michael (2015-04-28). "Wang Jianlin, a Billionaire at the Intersection of Business and Power in China". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
  26. ^ "王健林谈中央出台弘扬企业家精神文件:高兴 安心". Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  27. ^ Michael Wei, "Property Mogul Wang Emerges as China's Richest Person", Bloomberg, August 19, 2013
  28. ^ "China Rich List 2013" Archived 2014-08-31 at the Wayback Machine, Hurun Report, August 5, 2014
  29. ^ Profile of Wang Jianlin, Hurun Report, August 5, 2014
  30. ^ Jie Chen, Bruce J. Dickson, Allies of the State: China's Private Entrepreneurs and Democratic Change, Boston, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010, p. 55
  31. ^ [1], Wanda group, December 31, 2015
  32. ^ [2], China Money Network
  33. ^ "Wang Jianlin". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  34. ^ Flannery, Russell. "Alibaba's Jack Ma Overtakes Wang Jianlin As China's Richest Man". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  35. ^ Wang, Jennifer. "The 10 Richest Chinese Billionaires In 2020". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-04-17.
  36. ^ a b Prynn, Jonathan (19 December 2015). "Chinese billionaire buys £80m London home and he'll spend £50m more doing it up". Evening Standard. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  37. ^ Gao, Jing (October 6, 2015). "Wang Jianlin's son, "The People's Husband," is also an aspiring VC". All China Tech. Archived from the original on February 1, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  38. ^
  39. ^ ISBN 9781910649428, LID Publishing, copyright 2016
  40. ^ Huang, Echo. "China's richest man, Wanda Group CEO Wang Jianlin, has declared war on Disneyland".