Billionaire Wang Jianlin Signals Son Won’t Inherit Group Helm

  • Professional managers to be pitted in ‘competition’ for job
  • Mogul’s son says he doesn’t want to have father’s lifestyle

Wang Sicong.

Photographer: VCG via Getty Images

Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin clarified his plans to hand the helm of his 634 billion yuan ($91.7 billion) property-to-media empire, Dalian Wanda Group Co., to professional managers as the tycoon’s only son didn’t seem to be interested in following his father’s footsteps.

"I’ve asked my son and he said he didn’t want to live a life like mine," Wang, 62, said in a forum in Beijing on Saturday, according to a transcript of his speech. This is the second time the Chinese tycoon, with a net worth of $31 billion, commented on the matter for the record. He first floated the idea of letting a professional take over on a Chinese TV show in May.

"Perhaps it’s better to hand it to the professional managers,” Wang said. “We can guide them from the board. We will not set our eyes on a particular candidate, rather selecting someone from competition."

Wang Sicong, 29, the mogul’s only son, holds a 2 percent stake in Wanda. The 29-year-old is an Internet celebrity in China with more than 21 million followers on his weibo account. He is also an active investor in eSports and Internet companies, as well as a pre-IPO investor in Hong Kong’s Dining Concepts Holdings.

— With assistance by Jing Yang De Morel

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