Dalian Wanda Group, led by China’s richest man Wang Jianlin, is “in the process” of moving its headquarters from Beijing, the country’s capital, to Shanghai, one of its key international business hubs.
Wanda, Wang’s main business group, is looking for real estate in the city to build its headquarters on, a spokesman told Forbes today, confirming a local news report yesterday. “It takes time,” he said.
Shanghai would be the third city that Wang has located his headquarters in. Wanda’s roots trace back to the northeastern coastal city of Dalian. Wang, who was Forbes Asia’s Businessman of the Year in 2013, later shifted his headquarters to Beijing as he built up the country’s largest commercial real estate empire. The New York Times in a recent report detailed ties between Wang and the families of top officials of China’s Communist Party.
In recent years, Wang sought to expand globally and diversify into the film and theme park businesses. He arranged a splashy Hollywood-style launch for a studio and property project in Qingdao in 2013 attended by Leonardo DiCaprio, John Travolta and Nicole Kidman, among other international celebrities. Wanda controls New York-listed AMC, one of the largest U.S. movie theatre chains, has invested in real estate around the world, and has reportedly been in talks to invest in large U.S. studios.
Shanghai is also the future home of a new Disney Report, including Shanghai Disneyland, scheduled to open next year. GM and Ford are among global companies with a headquarters in Shanghai.
Shanghai’s richest mainland Chinese denizen is currently Guo Guangchang, chairman of Fosun International. with a fortune worth $9 billion. Forbes estimates that Wang is worth almost $35 billion, or almost four times as much. Fosun Media is a licensing partner of Forbes Media.