Chinese Companies With No Heir Apparent

Entrepreneurs' children don't want to take over. What's Plan B?

Empty chair at the big desk.

Photographer: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group and China’s richest man, has just one child, 27-year-old Wang Sicong. That would seem to make the question of succession at the privately-held Wanda a simple matter. The problem is, the younger Wang -- a notorious playboy with an obnoxious Sina Weibo social media feed that he keeps on behalf of his dog (including photos of the pet wearing gold Apple Watch Editions) -- doesn't seem prepared to take up his birthright leading the conglomerate, which develops commercial property and owns AMC theaters. In 2012, the elder Wang said of his shiftless son: “If he can make himself accepted by everyone [at Wanda] in the next five to eight years, he will succeed me. If he doesn’t have that ability, he won’t.”

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