China’s richest man has something to say to Donald Trump: if the president-elect tries to block him from doing business in the United States, then he can kiss 20,000 jobs goodbye.
Wang Jianlin, the chairman of real estate and entertainment giant Dalian Wanda Group, issued his ominous warning during a Q&A session following his talk at an entrepreneur summit in Beijing on Saturday.
The Chinese mogul was asked for this thoughts about reports that some US lawmakers are attempting to block him from buying American entertainment companies. Wang has purchased AMC Entertainment, the country’s largest cinema chain, along with the Hollywood film studio Legendary Pictures and the production company Dick Clark Productions.
Uncomfortable with a Chinese tycoon (who is also a former PLA commander with ties to the top leadership in Beijing) owning some 5,000 movie theaters across the United States, not to mention the Golden Globes, 16 members of the House of Representatives and Senate have called for closer scrutiny of Wang’s business deals.
Rather than be worried about Congress, Wang said that he sent a message straight to the top about his concerns:
Yesterday, I met with the President of Motion Picture Association of America who said he wants to meet with Mr. Trump and asked me what message I would like delivered. I told him to tell Mr. Trump that I have ten billion dollars of investments in the United States and more than 20,000 employees there who wouldn’t have anything to eat should things be handled poorly, and nothing else mattered. At least in the film and television industry, you must understand that the growth of English films depends on the Chinese market.
Wang went on to say that he is still interested in investing more in the US — including eventually buying up one of Hollywood’s “Big Six” studios — but whether he does will depend on Trump’s attitude toward Chinese entertainment companies. Wang made sure to add that Hollywood is relying more and more on the Chinese market for growth.
While everyone is well aware of Trump’s views on trade with China, he has never espoused any position on Chinese investment in the US. Though, earlier this year, it was revealed that a Trump tower under construction in Jersey City by a company owned by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, was being financed by tens of millions of dollars from Chinese millionaires in a controversial program that provides big foreign investors with US visas and a path to residence.
Also, during the Q&A session in Beijing, Wang was asked about his feud with Shanghai Disneyland. Wang declared that he had buried the hatchet with his international rival:
This question you’re asking… I’ve already reconciled with Disney. Have you not seen that when I was in the United States I went to visit the Disney Headquarters? Did I not also go see the Disney in Shanghai? We have close group photos, and everything has already been reconciled. Choose another topic. As we say in Beijing，there isn’t any good stirring up this matter. I won’t answer this question for you.
If Wang and Mickey can get along, maybe there’s hope for Trump and China after all?
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