Wanda Boss Dashes Travel Ban Rumors With Trip to Hong Kong

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Wang Jianlin

Wang Jianlin met with the city's former CEO Tung Chee-hwa, appearing to refute recent rumors that Beijing authorities had barred him from leaving the Chinese mainland.

Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin's dreams of becoming a global entertainment mogul might be in limbo, but he still enjoys the free use of his private jet.

The Dalian Wanda Group chairman flew into Hong Kong last week to meet with the city's former CEO Tung Chee-hwa, according to a short report posted to the company's website Monday. The brief trip appears to refute recent rumors that Wang had been barred by Beijing authorities from leaving the Chinese mainland.

Wanda posted two photos of Wang and Tung standing together in the former political leader's office, posing before a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region logo. Wang is known to be an adviser to the China-United States Exchange Foundation, which Tung set up after leaving office.

Wanda regularly shares photos and news about Wang's meetings with international business leaders and foreign dignitaries, and Monday's post made no mention of the recent rumors surrounding his political standing.

Instead, Wanda has chosen to make its voice heard through the courts. Last week, Wanda filed dozens of lawsuits against Chinese media outlets and private individuals who, it says, were involved in spreading "malicious" reports over social media claiming that Wang had been detained while trying to leave the country in August.

The reports put a temporary dent in the stock price of a Wanda subsidiary listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Wanda said it would seek compensation of 5 million yuan ($765,427) from each social media account and a public apology.

Wanda, which owns North America's largest cinema chain AMC Entertainment and Burbank-based Legendary Entertainment, has come under considerable pressure over its history of aggressive overseas dealmaking, which is believed to have fallen out of favor with Beijing regulators. In a strategic turnabout, Wang, who had previously boasted of wanting to buy a major Hollywood studio, said last month that the company's future investment plans would focus on domestic Chinese assets.

 

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