The Bulletin

Meet China's wealthiest person, Wang Jianlin

Posting in Cities

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.

— By on August 19, 2013, 12:09 AM PST

Andrew Nusca

Editor Emeritus

Andrew Nusca is editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor for ZDNet. Previously, he worked at Money, Men's Vogue and Popular Mechanics magazines. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and New York University. He is based in New York but resides in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure