What's driving one of China's richest men?

  @FortuneMagazine June 3, 2013: 7:17 AM ET
WAN10 wang jianlin

Wang, photographed outside a Wanda Plaza in Beijing, has amassed a fortune of about $8.3 billion.

(Fortune)

Wang Jianlin , founder and chairman of closely held Wanda Group and one of the richest men in China, knows how to pack a visitor's itinerary. One day in April, he flies Hawk Koch, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, from Beijing to Dalian, a port city on the Yellow Sea, in his Gulfstream G550. Wang is launching an international film festival in Dalian, and he's hoping to co-brand it with the Oscars. Hep shows Koch the futuristic new waterfront convention center he built, the new five-star Hilton next door, and some of the many Wanda office buildings, retail complexes, and apartment towers he owns all over town -- Monopoly tokens in a real estate empire that stretches from northeast China to the Himalayas, and Inner Mongolia to the South China Sea. That evening the men join Dalian party officials for a dozen-course dinner, and later still, when they finally get back to Beijing, Wang insists that everyone, including me, accompany him to a private club.

Wang is just a member here, by the way; his wife, Lin Ning, owns it. In the VIP lounge are a dance floor and a giant videoscreen and comfortable couches. Coffee tables sag under platters of pineapple, watermelon, dried beef, and almonds, and goblets of red wine. Karaoke microphones await, charging in their stands.

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