Wanda to Invest $8.2 Billion in Park, World’s Largest Studio

Dalian Wanda Group, founded by China’s richest man Wang Jianlin, said it plans to invest 50 billion yuan ($8.2 billion) to build an entertainment park in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao.

The 540-hectare (1,334-acre) Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis park, which is scheduled for completion in 2017, will include a movie museum, wax museum, exhibition center, yacht club and hotels, the company said in a statement yesterday. The complex will also house 20 studios including the world’s largest studio at 10,000 square meters, it said.

Billionaire Wang said in an interview this month that he was in talks with overseas movie chains following a $2.6 billion purchase of the second-largest U.S. cinema operator AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. last year. At the time, it was the biggest acquisition of a U.S. corporation by a Chinese company.

Dalian Wanda Group wants to build hotels in as many as 10 major cities around the world including projects planned for London and New York, Wang said at the interview. He didn’t name the investment banks or targets, and said he had been in talks with “several” companies over the past year.

He said he wants to build five-star hotels at a rate of 15 per year. Wanda has 40 hotels.

Wang’s closely held Dalian Wanda Group is the owner of the country’s biggest commercial land developer. It also develops shopping malls and runs department stores, luxury hotels and movie theaters. Over two decades, he has built 72 shopping centers throughout China called “Wanda Plazas,” anchored by his company’s department stores, office buildings and cinemas.

The Dalian Wanda conglomerate is owned by Wang and his son Wang Sicong. The 58-year-old has a net worth of $13.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

— With assistance by Michael Wei

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