Business / Companies

Wanda to continue shift from property

By WANG ZHUOQIONG (China Daily) Updated: 2015-08-11 10:35

Wanda to continue shift from property

Wang Jianlin, chairman of Wanda commercial properties, attends a ceremony during the debut of the company at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in this December 23, 2014 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

Dalian Wanda Group, China's largest commercial property developer, is continuing to shift its business focus onto e-commerce, finance, tourism and movies, its founder and chairman Wang Jianlin said on Monday.

"In 10 years there will be no pure Internet companies or pure offline business entities," Wang told an Internet and retail industry forum being hosted by Suning Commerce Group Ltd in Nanjing, Jiangsu province.

"The integration of Internet and real businesses, online and offline, is going to pave the way for future e-commerce development," he said.

Wanda has plans to create its own tourism unit-Wanda Cultural Industry Group-to overtake Disney to become the world's largest tourism enterprise by scale of visitors in five years, Wang told the audience.

A report last year by World Leisure Organization had Disney with nearly 130 million visitors in 2014, but it expected Wanda to achieve 200 million visitors, bringing in more than 100 billion yuan ($16.13 billion) in annual tourism revenue by 2020.

Wang said the company has already invested in, a leading tourism service provider based in Suzhou, to combine its offline tourism destinations with its online channels to lower prices to consumers.

In addition, he said the group has strong ambitions for its movie business, which has seen revenue rise 40 percent in the past year thanks to the gradually increasing movie market on the Chinese mainland.

He predicted the China film market will be worth 40 billion yuan by 2017, with most growth coming from third-and fourth-tier cities.

Wanda has also created Wanda E-commerce, with an investment from Chinese search engine Baidu Inc, which he said will crunch data from their combined customer bases to sell to other companies.

And a financial unit is also on the cards, to offer lower financing costs for consumers using stores that operate at its Wanda shopping plazas, he said.

Wanda has gradually been reducing its emphasis on property, including moves to close down the country's largest karaoke chain Superstar, which has been hit hard by the government's ongoing austerity campaign. Superstar had around 90 outlets in September last year but had planned to expand to 130 outlets this year.

It has also revealed plans to reduce its number of department stores to combat losses as a result of the surge in e-commerce sales nationally.

With a fortune of 145 billion yuan, Wang was rated China's second-richest individual behind Jack Ma, the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, in last year's China Rich List compiled by Hurun Report, a leading luxury publishing and events group.

But he is expected to overtake his Alibaba rival this year, based on Hurun's latest research, said Rupert Hoogewerf, the founder and chief researcher of Hurun Report.

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