|US$14b and counting, Wanda chief is China’s wealthiest
A multi-billionaire who bought US cinema chain AMC Entertainment and has just acquired a luxury British yacht builder is China's wealthiest person, according to Forbes magazine.
Wang Jianlin (pictured), head of conglomerate Wanda Group had estimated wealth of US$14 billion, the magazine said on its website.
His fortune soared from US$8 billion last year, when he was in third place, putting him now US$3 billion ahead of Zong Qinghou, a beverage tycoon, who topped the rankings earlier, it said.
A recovery in China's property market helped swell Wang's wealth, Forbes Shanghai bureau chief Russell Flannery told AFP.
“Urbanization is going to boost demand for real estate in important Chinese cities for a long time,'' said Flannery, who compiles the magazine's annual ranking of China's richest people. “That has fuelled wealth creation not only in China but all across Asia.''
Wang's wealth comes mainly from commercial real estate.
Wanda Group acquired AMC Entertainment last year for US$2.6 billion and last month it acquired British yacht builder Sunseeker. Chinese media also said in June that Wanda plans to build London's tallest residential towers.
The US$14 billion wealth would have put Wang in 63rd place, just ahead of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, in Forbes last global billionaires list, published in March.