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Wanda Cultural Industry Group has been nicknamed "a flagship of China's cultural industry" since the day it was founded on Dec 1, because of its scale, assets, variety of businesses and potential.
It has an ambitious blueprint that covers various ventures, including its art collection, movie productions, distribution and exhibition, stage show, theme parks and film bases.
Wanda has proved its foresight in the cultural sector by its success in film industry since it entered the business seven years ago. At present, its cinema line is the most powerful among Chinese film exhibitors.
Chinese Calligraphy and Painting Collection (the late 1980s)
Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin is a veteran art collector known for his insight and generosity. China Entrepreneur Magazine revealed that as early as 1992 he could spend 8 million yuan ($1.27 million) on a work by Fu Baoshi, a modern Chinese painter who died in 1965.
Insiders say Wanda's art collection could stock a museum. According to the company's website, the group focuses on collecting paintings and calligraphic work by famous modern and contemporary Chinese artists, and has owned roughly 1,000 pieces valued at 10 billion yuan in total.
Wanda owns the largest cinema chain in Asia and the second-largest in North America. It has 86 five-star cineplexes in China, most of which are located in downtown areas of cities across the mainland. It also owns the most IMAX screens in China. Among its 1,000 screens, approximately 50 are IMAX. Wanda Cinema Line holds around 15 percent of the market share in China.
In September, it completed acquisition of AMC Entertainment and its 5,048 screens in North America.
Wanda purchased Popular Cinema, which was China's most popular movie magazine in the 1990s but was struggling to survive the fierce market competition until Wanda acquired it this year. Wanda also has interests in China Times, a weekly business & finance magazine, and Global Business, a monthly magazine.
Film and Television Bases (2009)
Wanda is building a film and television production base in Dalian, Northeast China.
Wanda owns 45 "Superstar" karaoke centers nationwide and plans to have 130 by 2015, making it the largest operation of its kind in China.
Theme Parks and Resorts (2010)
Wanda plans to build world's leading theme parks in Beijing, Dalian in Northeast China and Xishuangbanna in the southwestern province of Yunnan. The construction of the Dalian park is expected to be completed in 2015. The Xishuangbanna park will start construction soon. The Beijing theme park, tentatively named Dreamchasing City, is located in the eastern district of Tongzhou and is scheduled to open in 2016.
The group is also building a recreational park, involving film production and technology, in Wuhan.
Stage Show (2010)
Wanda has a joint venture with the Franco Dragone Entertainment Group in the US and will invest $1.6 billion to launch five stage shows in Wuhan, Dalian, Sanya and other cities. The Wuhan show will premiere in 2014.
Film and Television Production (2011)
The company's website notes that the group invested $80 million to found the Film & TV Production Company in 2011. It has produced or distributed a small number of works this year, but plans to make more than 10 movies or television works annually after 2013.
Some of the company's better-known projects include the production and distribution of The Warring States in 2011, starring veteran Sun Honglei and newcomer Jing Tian, the distribution of Taiwan director Wei Te-sheng's epic Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale in May, and the production of a romantic feature called Holding Love, starring Yang Mi and Liu Kaiwei, in June.
(China Daily 01/03/2013 page1)