Dalian Wanda Group, the Chinese conglomerate led by Wang Jianlin (China’s wealthiest man), has announced a partnership with Sony Pictures on Friday. An article from the Asian company’s website indicates that the alliance will include “equity co-financing in some cases, comprising some Sony Pictures’ upcoming high-profile tentpole releases in China.”
Another company statement cited by the L.A. Times notes that Wanda’s presence in Hollywood will “highlight the China element in the films in which it invests.”
The partnership will not only allow China to get deeper into Hollywood, but it will also lead to more Hollywood presence in The Red Dragon: Wanda Group is the largest theater owner in the nation.
Another move towards China’s market leadership
Dalian Wanda Group also owns AMC Entertainment, which brokered a deal to merge with Carmike Cinemas in July to become the largest movie theater chain in the U.S., according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. The piece also notes that AMC is looking to purchase Odeon & UCI, the largest theater chain in Europe.
The Chinese giant also acquired Legendary Pictures in May of this year and is reportedly planning to buy a 49% stake in Paramount Pictures. These purchases are accompanied by China’s aggressive cinema expansion on their land, which will include the building of a massive filming complex in the city of Qingdao, located on its eastern coast.
American concerns further raised by this deal
China’s endeavors for dominance in the global market have raised many red flags, especially in the United States. A letter from Congress, dated September 15, cited various accountability concerns regarding Wanda’s recent purchases in the film industry and noted that a major preoccupation had to do with “China’s efforts to censor topics and expert propaganda controls on American media.”
It later states that in 2012, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission had already asked CFIUS for “mandatory review of all controlling transactions by Chinese state-owned and state-controlled companies investing in the U.S.” CFIUS is the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
Wang Jianlin reportedly said in an interview that he hopes “to change the world where foreigners set rules.” China’s expansion in the film industry represents only a sizeable part of their foreign investments in the U. S. which also include major fields like the food industry.
Source: Los Angeles Times