- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
When the staff of Dalian Wanda Group gathered in Yunnan Province for the giant real estate conglomerate’s annual corporate meeting last weekend, company chairman Wang Jianlin, one of China’s richest individuals, had a little treat in store for them.
The 61-year-old executive — who, like most Chinese of his generation, is an avid karaoke fan — serenaded his staff with a spirited rendition of a classic Chinese rock song. And it has to be conceded: the chairman has pipes (video below).
Wang’s triumphant mood at the gathering is no surprise. Over the course of 2015, the executive, whose personal wealth is estimated at $30 billion, made major strides towards his goal of remaking Wanda as a globally integrated lifestyle and entertainment company.
Last week, Wanda reached a deal to buy U.S. film studio Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion — the largest acquisition of its kind ever in China. In recent years, Wanda also has acquired U.S. theater chain AMC Entertainment, Australia’s second-largest multiplex chain Hoyts, Infront Sports & Media AG, a large stake in Spain’s Club Atletico de Madrid soccer team and World Triathlon Corp, organizer of the Iron Man Triathlon races.
During the same gathering in Yunan — before the karaoke kicked off — Wanda projected a 30 percent surge in revenue for its entertainment businesses in 2016.
In the video, Wang sings the rock ballad “Fake Monk” by Cui Jian, China’s most beloved classic rock star. The assembled Wanda staff and guests seem to love it. The chairman, dressed in his characteristic dark business suit, is accompanied by a few female dancers.
While most would be surprised to see a Western media tycoon break into a song and dance routine at a corporate gathering — Rupert Murdoch doing his best Tom Jones anyone? — such moments are fairly common in the Chinese business world. In 2013, Alibaba Group’s billionaire founder Jack Ma jumped onto a stage in Chinese pop star attire to sing the local hit song “I Love You, China.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day