You probably don’t know who the Dalian Wanda Group is but if the company continues its current path that might soon change. The Chinese company may have started out dealing in real estate, but its most recent acquisition contributes to its continued growth as a major entertainment player on the international market.
So what is Wanda’s most recent deal that continues to push them further into the Hollywood limelight? Well, the company has already bought up many Hollywood studios but on Friday they announced its first television studio: Dick Clark Productions.
Dick Clark Productions, of course, is the studio behind the Golden Globe Awards as well as the Miss America Pageant. Furthermore, this $1 billion deal adds television programming to its already stellar cast of acquisitions, including AMC Theatres and Legendary Entertainment.
Of course, this is a smart move for the Chinese company, as box office revenues in the country continue to soar over global competitors. In fact, the Chinese appetite for Hollywood films far surpasses that of the American audience; so now Chinese companies continue to seek more opportunities for expansion into the movie industry.
And Hollywood is welcoming the move. Peking University professor of investment, Jeffrey Towson notes, “I understand the business thinking, which is, they’re moving upstream.” Wanda Group plans to solidify its place in the entertainment world with the pending opening of a 400-acre complex featuring 30 brand new sound stages, slated for next year.
At the same time, not everyone applauds Wanda Group’s aggressive expansion in the US film market. Obviously, some US lawmakers are concerned that a company like Wanda Group—who has significant financial association with Communist Part leaders—might help to spread a pro-Chinese agenda throughout the American film industry.
For example, Texas Republican John Culberson warns, “These acquisitions, as well as many more co-financing arrangements, allow Chinese state-controlled companies a significant degree of control over the financing and content of American media that raises serious concerns about how this may be used for propaganda purposes.”
Still, Dalian Wanda Group founder and chairman Wang Jianlin assuages that he is only interested in turning profits (as an industry) and not on promoting any type of propaganda. “[It is] not like we’re invading,” he says, instead contending that they want to help American film companies “get more market share in the emerging movies market that is China.”