News / Asia

Stars Come Out As China Mogul Announces $8 Billion Film Park

American actor John Travolta (L) shakes hands with fans as he arrives for the launch ceremony of the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis on the outskirts of Qingdao, China, September 22, 2013.American actor John Travolta (L) shakes hands with fans as he arrives for the launch ceremony of the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis on the outskirts of Qingdao, China, September 22, 2013.
x
American actor John Travolta (L) shakes hands with fans as he arrives for the launch ceremony of the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis on the outskirts of Qingdao, China, September 22, 2013.
American actor John Travolta (L) shakes hands with fans as he arrives for the launch ceremony of the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis on the outskirts of Qingdao, China, September 22, 2013.
Reuters
China's richest man, property developer Wang Jianlin, raised the curtain on a planned 50 billion yuan ($8.17 billion) “motion-picture city” which he described as the biggest-ever single investment in the movie and television industry.
 
Property developer Wang Jianlin, 58, founder of Dalian Wanda Group, was surrounded by Hollywood stars John Travolta, Nicole Kidman and Catherine Zeta-Jones on Sunday as he launched his most ambitious project yet in the picturesque coastal city of Qingdao.
 
When completed in 2017, the Oriental Movie Metropolis will boast 20 sound stages, including the world's first underwater studio, a massive convention and exhibition complex, a sprawling shopping mall with an indoor amusement park and seven resort hotels.
 
The project also will include a yacht club with 300 berths.
 
"Major step" for China

“The Oriental Movie Metropolis is a major step in China's strategy to become a global cultural powerhouse,” Wang said.
 
It was not only crucial to the development of Wanda's entertainment business, he added, but also an important step for building China's cultural brand.
 
Wang Jianlin, chairman of Chinese property developer Dalian Wanda Group, sits in a meeting room as he arrives for the launch ceremony for the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis on the outskirts of Qingdao September 22, 2013.Wang Jianlin, chairman of Chinese property developer Dalian Wanda Group, sits in a meeting room as he arrives for the launch ceremony for the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis on the outskirts of Qingdao September 22, 2013.
x
Wang Jianlin, chairman of Chinese property developer Dalian Wanda Group, sits in a meeting room as he arrives for the launch ceremony for the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis on the outskirts of Qingdao September 22, 2013.
Wang Jianlin, chairman of Chinese property developer Dalian Wanda Group, sits in a meeting room as he arrives for the launch ceremony for the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis on the outskirts of Qingdao September 22, 2013.
For Wang, who was named by Forbes as China's richest man with personal wealth of $14 billion, the Qingdao project also represents the latest move by Wanda Group to parlay its real estate and shopping mall development into a leisure and entertainment empire.
 
Wanda Group, which is privately held, has invested in 72 Wanda Plazas across China, along with 40 five-star hotels. The company also owns 6,000 movie screens, 62 department stores and 68 karaoke centers.
 
More recently, the company has turned to offshore markets to expand its real estate and leisure investment. Last year, Wanda closed its $2.6 billion buy-out of U.S. cinema chain AMC Entertainment. Wang this year also announced a 1 billion pound ($1.57 billion) British investment that included the purchase of Sunseeker, Britain's largest luxury yacht maker by sales.
 
The Wanda chairman told Reuters earlier this month that he could afford to spend as much as $5 billion every year to buy foreign firms or assets.

Wanda Group’s ambitious plans

In an interview on the sidelines of Sunday's ceremony, Wang said that he expected Wanda Group revenue to increase to $30 billion this year, and to continue to increase by $10 billion every year.
 
Wanda Group says it has total assets of 300 billion yuan ($49.01 billion) and annual revenue for 2012 of 141.7 billion yuan ($23.15 billion).
 
“We will have more than $50 billion in revenue two years from now,” he said. “In 2020, we will have at least $100 billion, even by conservative estimates.”
 
Offshore hotel investment is a major focus of the company's strategy. “In the next eight to ten years, we will build high-end hotels in major cities around the world,” he said.
 
To reach the site of Oriental Movie Metropolis, which is planned as a 376-hectare, eight-phase development, it's necessary to drive about one hour from downtown Qingdao past rows of upscale apartment complexes that appear partially occupied.
 
Wang, who started his own film production company in recent months that has met with mixed success, explained that movies were a “sunrise industry” in China. He expects Wanda to be among the world's leading 20 entertainment companies by 2016.
 
He declined to discuss financing for the new project, although he has not ruled out the use of partners or of debt.

You May Like

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid