Wanda Dalian Chairman Wang Jianlin Gives a Lecture at Harvard

"Wang Jianlin responds for the first time to New York Times report on Wanda's political affiliations with relatives of President Xi Jinping at an open lecture at Harvard Business School"

Oct 30, 2015, 06:01 ET from Dalian Wanda Group

BOSTON, Oct. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin attended his first Harvard Global Advisory Council Meeting as Vice Chair this week in Boston, and gave an open lecture about Wanda going global at Harvard Business School.

The lecture was attended by over 1,000 students at Burden Hall and began with a 10-minute speech, followed by a 20-minute "Dialogue with Professor Willy Shih" and a 30-minute Q&A session with students. During the lecture, the Chairman engaged in intensive dialogue with Professor Shih on Wanda's ambitions, approaches and challenges in building a global business brand, and attended to a number of sensitive questions, including claims from the New York Times' report that Wanda owes its success to political affiliations with relatives of President Xi. The Chairman gave his first ever response since the publication of the article.

An extract from the stimulating discussion with Professor Willy Shih:

On going global and Wanda's ambitions 

"By 2020, our international business will account for 30% of the Group's total revenue. We want to be the ambassador of Chinese companies going overseas."

On Responding to Sensitive Questions

Q: The New York Times previously reported that the reason behind Wanda's rapid growth lies in the Company's political ties. Their report states that relatives of President Xi Jinping and other leaders are Wanda shareholders. Can you confirm this?

A: Wanda has no political affiliation. In January of 2000, our commercial properties subsidiary had initiated a round of private placement and appointed China Silverlake Securities and CICC, China's largest at the time, to oversee its execution. We were fortunate, as market reception was overwhelming even as we set a relatively high price at RMB13 per share. We successfully raised RMB4 billion, breaking the record for the most capital raised by a Chinese private company at the time. Chairman Xi's brother-in law, Mr Deng Jia Gui's investment company, Qin Chuan Dadi, participated in the private placement at the same subscribed price level as other investment companies, such as the investment company of China Construction Bank and China Fan Hai Development. Just two months before the listing, Mr Deng sold all the shares held by his investment company and fully exited at a low price point, and I'd like to state at this point that Mr Deng was never a shareholder of our listed company. After six years of investment, he sacrificed the opportunity to realize a huge return in investment. This incident demonstrates that President Xi is not only strict in managing our country but is even more scrupulous when it comes to family affairs.

We owe our rapid growth to our core competence of innovative business model and effective management practices. We pride ourselves on our unparalleled, industry-leading execution capabilities, and it is not easy to find another organization such as Wanda that is capable of completing the construction of commercial centers and hotels in such a consistent and punctual fashion. Some of you may not be familiar with cases studies relating to China, so I will give you an example in the US: AMC. After years of recorded losses we turned it around to make a profit in its first year post-acquisition, and got it listed on the NYSE in the second year with substantial returns to shareholders. This goes to show that the success of our rapid development rests squarely on the shoulders of our core competencies.

Wang Jianlin also responded to skepticism around the motivation behind Wanda's increasing overseas investment before engaging in a 30-minute Q&A session with students. The full transcript together with the video clip of the event will soon be available on http://fairbank.fas.harvard.edu/.

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