The Real Deal Los Angeles

Wanda Group’s Wang Jianlin is schmoozing it up in LA

China's richest man will host a glitzy gala Monday night
October 17, 2016 12:00PM

JINAN, CHINA - AUGUST 26: Dalian Wanda Group chairman Wang Jianlin attends a signing ceremony on August 26, 2016 in Jinan, China. Wanda Group will invest 60 billion yuan (about 9 billion U.S. dollars) to build a culture and tourism project, which is planned to cover an area of 692 acres, in Jinan city. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

Wang Jianlin at a signing ceremony in Jinan, China (Credit: Getty)

The Chinese billionaire behind the Wanda Group is about to take on Los Angeles one film studio at a time.

Wang Jianlin, the chairman of international real estate firm Wanda Group and China’s richest man, is courting Hollywood’s biggest names to promote his massive new film studio in eastern China.

The 61-year-old magnate will host Monday night a gala that boasts quite the invite list, including Chinese diplomats, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The event at the L.A. County Museum of Art will feature magicians, acrobats and a Chinese pop singer, according to the Hollywood Reporter, and will feature speeches from both Garcetti and Isaacs.

But more importantly, the gala has a business mission: to introduce a 40 percent rebate for filmmakers willing to venture to Wanda’s $8.2 billion Qingdao Movie Metropolis film studio for their movie and TV projects.

Wanda has purchased American entertainment assets as well, including control of AMC Entertainment and Thomas Tull’s Legendary Entertainment. In fact, the real estate company has been so aggressive in its acquisitions that 16 U.S. representatives named it as an example of Chinese investors possibly infiltrating the American entertainment field with foreign propaganda.

Despite the fact that Monday will be its first American event, the real estate giant faces no shortage of controversy on American soil. Its Beverly Hills subsidiary is currently waging a campaign war against competitor Beny Alagem, whose Beverly Hilton-adjacent condo tower initiative will appear on the November ballot. [THR]Cathaleen Chen