Wanda Group’s entertainment and sports unit has had its fair share of controversies.
But this year’s Wanda International Festival in Hong Kong has seen a much more turbulent ride.
Key points:Wanda CEO Wang Jianlin says “the whole enterprise is now in the hands of the people”The company’s new CEO has vowed to overhaul the company and reinvigorate its entertainment businessWanda, based in China, was spun off from China-based Alibaba in 2014, but has struggled with its own woesThe company had been facing a number of legal and regulatory challenges, including from rival media giant China Media Capital.
Last year, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua announced it was looking to take control of the group.
The Chinese government said in March that it would not allow Wanda to merge with the conglomerate.
Wanda said the news was premature, but it said the decision was taken “without delay”.
“We are confident that we will be able to make good progress in the merger process,” it said in a statement on Thursday.
The company said it was also considering “a number of alternative options” and was also “concerned about the uncertainty in the financial markets and the uncertainty on China’s financial markets”.
Wanda’s entertainment business is the biggest in the world, accounting for about one-fifth of the entertainment industry.
But its entertainment division has been plagued by controversy over the years.
In 2013, a Beijing court found that the entertainment group was guilty of “false advertising” by its marketing of a movie called “The Princess Bride” in 2010 that featured a nude woman.
The case was later settled for an undisclosed sum and the film was not shown at any of Wanda’s events.
In 2015, China censors blocked the release of the film in the country, citing “national security”.
Wang told Reuters the company was “completely in control” and would be ready to “return to its old glory”.
“This is not an easy road for any company to go down, but Wanda has done it, and we will not give up,” he said.
Wang said the company would take the next steps, adding: “We are ready to fight for our rights in the market.”
Topics:corporate-governance,business-economics-and-finance,business,disasters-and%E2%80%99crises,lifestyle-and_leisure,china,asia,franceFirst posted April 08, 2019 19:56:16Contact Sam TingleMore stories from New South Wales