Meet China's wealthiest person, Wang Jianlin

The owner of China's largest commercial land developer emerges as its wealthiest citizen. His net worth? $14.2 billion.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

Wang Jianlin, the 58-year-old owner of China's largest commercial land developer, has emerged as the country's wealthiest person, according to a new Bloomberg report.

Wang was always among the richest, but new regulatory filings suggest that his non-real estate businesses -- the world's largest movie theater chain among them -- are "more valuable than previously calculated," according to the report.

His magic net worth number? $14.2 billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index, more than the nominal gross domestic product of Iceland. (For context, if Wang were his own country, he'd be the 117th richest, ahead of 77 others.)

China's second-richest person, beverage titan Zong Qinghou, comes in at an even $11 billion.

As with any money mogul, diversification is key to Wang's success. Though he has designs to substantially increase his property holdings, he has also acquired British yachtmaker Sunseeker (James Bond's preferred seaworthy ride) and owns the entire Wanda Department Store chain. Within the Dalian Wanda Group conglomerate, for which he chairs the board of directors, is well-known movie theater chain AMC. And what property magnate would be without 40 five-star hotels?

Wang got his start as a residential developer in Dalian, a city in China's north, but his wealth accelerated once China's major urbanization push began. As rural residents flooded cities with their families and discretionary spending, Wang made sure they had places to live and play.

Photo courtesy Dalian Wanda Group Corp.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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