Wanda Group to Invest $2.3 Billion To Build Hospitals in China

Wanda Group, the closely-held conglomerate controlled by Asia’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, is investing 15 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) to build three hospitals in China, seeking to tap rising demand for high-end health-care services in the country.

The company, one of China’s biggest property developers, will partner with U.K.-based International Hospitals Group to begin construction of the facilities, it said in an e-mailed statement. The plans include 1,000-bed IHG Wanda International Hospital in Shanghai, while the others will be located in the cities of Chengdu and Qingdao.

Many developers have tapped health care as a lucrative alternative as growth in the world’s second-largest economy has slowed. Chinese patients often face long lines at public hospitals, and many are willing to pay up for better care. The health industry has also been buoyed by government incentives to boost private investment in the sector.

The projects announced today help meet "the growing health-care needs of the country’s affluent population," Wang said in the statement, adding that the hospitals will “serve as role models for the development of premium health care in China.”

Wang, who according to the the Bloomberg Billionaires Index is worth $33.3 billion, is Asia’s richest man. His companies have invested in everything from the organizer of the Ironman triathlons to an 89-floor skyscraper in downtown Chicago. Dalian Wanda Group is close to a deal to buy a majority stake in California-based movie producer Legendary Entertainment, Bloomberg News reported.

China’s government last year issued policies to cut red tape and boost financing for private hospital investment. International Hospitals Group provides services ranging from hospital design to recruitment, according to its website. It has completed over 450 health-care projects for clients ranging from the United Nations to the World Bank, the statement said.

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