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China's richest man has continued his Hollywood shopping spree - snapping up the company that runs the Golden Globes; Dalian Wanda, run by property magnate Wang Jianlin, is paying $1bn (£800m) for Dick Clark Productions that also runs the Miss America beauty pageant and the Billboard Music Awards.

 

The Chinese conglomerate already controls the AMC cinema chain, the second largest in the US, as well as Legendary Entertainment , co-producer of hit films including Godzilla and The Dark Knight Rises, and has a tie-up with Sony Pictures. It seems that Mr Wang, who sits on a personal fortune of $32.1bn (£26.4bn) according to a recent rich list, really is buying up the US entertainment industry, one step at a time.

 

Many suspect it is just a matter of time until he gets a big chunk of one of Hollywood's big six film studios. Earlier this year he got close to buying a 49% stake in Paramount Pictures from Viacom before the deal collapsed. Long before this deal, some US politicians were already worried about China's influence in Hollywood and the US media - whether that is censoring media or producing pro-Chinese propaganda. In September, 16 members of the US Congress called for greater scrutiny of foreign investments, mentioning Dalian Wanda by name.

 

Mr Wang has not shied away from his ambition to make China a dominant global force in entertainment and to bring "more Chinese elements" to the output but he insists he is motivated by a "business perspective" rather than a political one, with China's box office takings predicted to match the US and Canada by 2018 - and to grow by around 15% each year for the next decade.

 

Photo Credit: 
wsj.com

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