China’s Dalian Wanda to redirect investments back home after selling assets abroad

People walk past designs created using different varieties of rice in a paddy in Shenyang in China's northeast Liaoning province. Photographer: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Billionaire Wang Jianlin is setting his sights back on China after government scrutiny of his group’s overseas deals resulted in an end to a global expansion spree.

Wang’s Dalian Wanda Group Co. on Wednesday unveiled plans to spend 80 billion yuan ($11.6 billion) in the northeastern city of Shenyang, the biggest of the mainland investments it announced in the past six months. The money will be used to build a cultural tourism project, a hospital, an international school and five Wanda Plaza commercial complexes, the conglomerate said in a statement on its website.

Wanda is returning its focus to building leisure and commercial facilities after selling off some of its largest overseas assets amid a government crackdown on debt-financed overseas acquisitions. Wanda, which once had ambitions to challenge Walt Disney Co. as an entertainment company has offloaded billions of dollars in assets including a movie-making complex in Qingdao, China, European soccer clubs and property in Beverly Hills.

The investment in Shenyang comes on top of the 25 billion yuan it spent in the city on earlier projects, according to Wanda. Construction on the projects announced Wednesday is set to begin in the third quarter, the company said.

Last week, Wanda said that it is investing 20 billion yuan in building a cultural tourism project in Chaozhou. In April, Wanda unveiled a plan to spend a total of 2 billion yuan to build football fields and training facilities in Dalian. It also has plans to build hospitals across China.

The tourism project in Chaozhou will include a sports park and a cluster of vacation hotels. The 400,000 square-meter international hospital will offer medical, rehabilitation and healthy lifestyle services.

Bloomberg