Wang Jianlin was born in Sichuan, China, on October 24, 1954. His father was an army officer of the People’s Liberation Army and was directly involved in notorious Long March. He was a man of hard and fast norms and didn’t like a single thing go without his knowledge. Right at the moment of Wang’s birth, he decided to make the boy an army officer like himself. So, Wang’s childhood was full of strict restriction and censorship.
After completing the primary education, Wang joined the army to follow his father’s footsteps. As he spent his childhood under his father’s strict lens, he too became a man of rules. His work ethics was so rigid that he never took a single day of leave in his 17 years of service. This sincerity contributed in his fast promotion to higher ranks.
Unlike many, Wang enjoyed his time in army. He preferred a chained life to one that is full of freedom and whims. He left the army as a regiment commander and joined the Communist Party in 1976. He has been loyal to the company since then. Primarily, he served as the deputy of 17th national congress. In the 80s decade, he worked as member of several business company’s administrative board. After gathering prolific experience, he joined Dalian Wanda Group as its chairman. This was the beginning of his business career.
Dalian Wanda Group was a relatively small business conglomerate when Wang joined it. Under his fine supervision, the company grew bigger within years. It is Wang, whose leadership has brought the business corporation to such a position, where it possesses 21.57 million square meter investment property, 213 cinemas, 99 big departmental stores, 82 luxury hotels and 168 shopping malls across China. Mr. Wang made the acquisition of US based AMC Theaters for $2.6 billion in 2012, which made him the biggest theater owner in the country.
This was not all of Wang’s success in the sector of cinema. He dreamt to build something like Hollywood in China. This dream came true in 2014 as he launched the amazing mini Hollywood of China in Qingdao. It was built for whooping $8 billion and several Hollywood stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, John Travolta, Kate Beckinsale and many more were present in the inaugural ceremony.
Wang also announced his aspiration to build Wanda Group, the biggest entertainment company in the world. Within this project, he wants to build the world’s largest Studio pavilion and a 10,000 square meter under water shooting studio.
Wang is also making a lot of big acquisition in cinema industry. His first acquisition in America is that of a film production company named Legendary Entertainment. But, his masterstroke was still to come in this process of becoming a cinema giant.
Wang declared that he want to acquire the entertainment broadcasting giant Dick-Clarke Productions which has the broadcasting right of immense popular programs like Golden Globe award program, Academy of Country Music Award program and new year countdown celebration at time square. If this acquisition happens anytime soon, no doubt Mr. Wang is going to have a firm influence in Hollywood.
Wang’s Dalian Wanda also started to invest in construction business in USA, India, Spain and his own country China. Soon after this investment, he was named the ‘Businessman of the Year’ in Asia region by the Forbes Asia in 2013. He has earned fame as a great philanthropist as he topped the list of most generous philanthropists of China several times. He was also termed as the ‘Best CEO in Asia’ in 2015 by Asia Corporate Governance Magazine. Currently the 36th richest businessman in the world Wang Jianlin has a net worth of $21.6 billion.
Though Wang doesn’t have any interest in politics, he is currently serving as the vice-chairman of All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce. This designation and a business empire have led him to maintain good relation with the politicians which is very natural in China. Further, he keeps good contact and loyal relation with the Communist Party as well. When asked about politics, he famously said, “Stay close to the government and distant from politics.”
Wang Jianlin is married to Lin Ning. They have a son who is currently a board member in Wanda Group. He has several luxurious resident houses in China and abroad including the most gorgeous one in Kensington Palace Garden in London, which cost him £80 million. He also proved to be a prolific writer with the publication of his only book ‘The Wanda Way: The managerial philosophy and values of one of China’s largest companies’ in 2016.