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China’s Richest Man Shares Insights Into His Business Success At Oxford Saïd Business School

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Introduction

Following the release of his book, The Wanda Way, Wang Jianlin, Chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group and the richest person in China, spoke at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford on Thursday 23 February 2016. In a session moderated by Eric Thun, Peter Moores Associate Professor in Chinese Business Studies at Saïd Business School, Wang talked about his business success, his growth strategy inside China, Wanda’s global expansion plans, and his long-term vision of making Wanda a leading international multi-industry enterprise.

Introduction by Professor Peter Tufano

peter_tufano2Good Afternoon, I am Peter Tufano Dean of the School and I’d like to welcome you all to the University of Oxford and to Saïd Business School. In a moment we’ll be joined by Chairman Wang and my colleague Eric Thun.

I’d like to make a couple of announcements first then just a quick remark for the students in the room about what is install for you.  Once Chairman Wang’s talk has concluded, there will be time for questions. We ask that you keep those questions brief and to the point and for the first 20 people who ask good questions, there will be a signed copy of Chairman Wang’s book –the Wanda Way. Of course, if your questions are not good, we will take it back!

So you’re about to hear directly from the Chairman, so let me say a few remarks to warm you up a bit. When you think about Wanda, you think about superlatives: biggest, first, most, quickest. But if you read the book, and I’ve had the pleasure to read the book, I think there’re three to four themes that you’ll get out of it. First, success is great, but a lot of what this book is about is determination and determination proceeds success. Second, while there’s a great deal of entrepreneurialism here, there’s a combination of both discipline and flexibility. So as you are listening to Chairman Wang, I think you’ll hear about both discipline, making sure things get done, and flexibility, adapting to the world. Third, you might think that entrepreneurship is about small firms and young firms, but what you’re going to hear about is entrepreneurship on a large scale. And then finally, global, Wanda is an amazing firm, is it a Chinese firm, of course it is, but it is also a global firm. So is it possible to be both local and global? I think the answer is clearly yes.

We’ll hear a lot more, but I just wanted to again welcome you all to the School, at this point I’d like to welcome my colleague, Eric Thun, Peter Moore’s Associate Professor of Chinese Business Studies, who will be the moderator for the day.  Thank you very much.

Introduction by Associate Professor Eric Thun

profile_picture_1084In Mandarin: Greetings to you all, we are delighted to have invited Chairman Wang Jianlin to the University of Oxford Saïd Business School. I will do the rest in English. It’s my honour to have the opportunity to introduce Chairman Wang. We spend a lot of time at the School talking about entrepreneurship, talking about leadership, and we couldn’t ask for a better business leader that embodies these traits in the current global economy.

Chairman Wang comes from a military background. His father was in the army, and took part in the Long March. Chairman Wang joined the PLA at the age of 15. He spent 16 years climbing its ranks before taking a job at the Municipal Government of Dalian in 1986. As you all know this was a time of momentous change in China. Chairman Wang, he understood that the future was in the Chinese economy and that great things were going to happen, and he wanted to be part of this. So in 1988, at the age of 35, he volunteered to take over a state owned real estate company that was on the verge of bankruptcy due to poor management, this company was the predecessor to the Wanda Group. Wanda became one of the first shareholding companies in China in 1992, and then proceeded with a process of relentless expansion, first nationally and then globally, emerging as the world’s largest property developer.

More recently, Wanda has become the world’s largest cultural enterprise in China and the largest internet finance company in China, it’s been globalizing at a fantastic rate. It purchased the AMC movie chain in the US in 2012, Sunseeker Yachts in the UK in 2013, and the film studio Legendary Entertainment last month. We have an awful lot to talk about in the next 90 minutes. Please join me in welcoming Chairman Wang Jianlin.

Chairman Wang’s Speech

I am very honoured to have this opportunity to lecture about Wanda going global here at Oxford University. Because of time constraints, I will make a brief speech first and questions are welcome after. My subject is Going Global, the “Wanda” Way. I will talk about four main points:

Point One – Reasons for Going Global

First, to expand the size of the Wanda enterprise. International investment is required for expansion in some industries, especially in industries such as entertainment and sports, where the foreign market is more advanced than the Chinese one. This is a key reason why Wanda wishes to expand overseas.

Second, to become a global company. In 2015, a resignation letter caused a nationwide sensation in China. A teacher wrote:“The world is so big. I’d like to check it out.”  I’d like to borrow this sentence to describe Wanda, “The world is so big. I’d like to go make the best of it.”

The core of Wanda’s corporate culture has always been 8 words. When we first established the company in 1988, I suggested using “Be an Honest Person; Work Smart” as the core of our corporate culture. At that time China had just opened up, there were many frauds in the business world.  We honoured honesty and integrity. We advocated “Be an Honest Person”. And at the same time, we also believed in “Working Smart”. Cheated once, it’s the cheater’s fault. Cheated twice, it’s your own fault. After a few years, the company had accumulated some wealth. And we changed the core of our corporate culture to “Create Wealth Together; To Benefit All Society”, as a call to everyone to create wealth together and contribute to society. In 2004, Wanda did a full revamp on its corporate culture development. We combed through our corporate goals, development missions, and operating principles and put forward “International Wanda; Centennial Enterprise”. We intended “Centennial Enterprise” to signify a long-lasting company; however, we didn’t quite figure out what “International Wanda” would really indicate yet. So we didn’t start on going global right after the slogan was created. We didn’t really start going global until 2012. But this slogan shows that Wanda had such an intention right from the outset.

Speaking of Wanda’s globalization, there is also an anecdote. It’s as if it’s the Heaven’s will. At first, Wanda was actually called Xigang Development Company, with the majority of its business focused on real-estate development. In 1992, during the shareholding reform, we decided to change our name, because we thought the old one was too tacky. We called for company name proposals and promised rewards.We spent 2000 RMB and put up a name proposal advertisement in the newspaper. About 200 people submitted proposals, from which we chose about a dozen to have explained one by one. It was the 3rd or the 4th entrant whose proposal was selected. It is the Wanda logo we use now. It’s dark blue and has Wanda’s pinyin letters transformed into a wave and ship. Why blue? Because Wanda is company born by the sea. Why a circle on the outside? The designer said it signified going global. We liked the implication and adopted it. Then, Wanda hasn’t even expanded across China yet. So Wanda had global ambitions from the beginning. Without this ambition and without this goal, Wanda wouldn’t have come this far.

Third, to mitigate operating risks. There is a saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Expanding into new markets means decreased operating risks. No matter how well a country’s economy is developing, it will still have periods of economic adjustment; however, the chances of a big global economic adjustment or a global Great Depression happening are very low. Also, the Chinese government encourages Chinese companies to distribute resources globally and to leverage the global market. So from a risk mitigation perspective, we expand globally.

Point Two – Globalization Strategy

Focus on M&A.
Wanda’s overseas investment is focused on M&A and supplemented with investment. Why do it this way? Because from the industrial revolution till now, the world market, especially in some principal sectors, have basically been carved up by companies that had entered the market first. For example, the financial industry, I can’t say there is absolutely no chance but it’s very difficult without M&A, Wanda is now operating in the sports industry. International sporting event ownership and broadcasting rights have all basically been carved up by old family-owned companies and multinationals. The only way in is through acquisition. Some people on the Chinese media say that Wanda “only knows to buy, buy, and buy”. I’d like to ask them, if I don’t buy, what other choice do I have?

Interconnection.
Some people say that Chinese enterprises never buy the right thing. But only the expensive thing But our overseas expansion focuses on buying the right thing. What is buying the right thing? We look at two criteria. First, is it related to the company’s current business? All industries Wanda has expanded globally in are industries they’ve already operating in, be it real estate, culture, sports, or tourism. These are all industries Wanda is currently involved in. The benefit of doing so is that we already have some knowledge accumulation and talent reserve in these industries and we know what they are about. Second, for both the cross-border M&A and investment projects, Wanda requires these businesses to be able to be transplanted into China and have a faster development in China.

Take a sports company’s M&A for example, in 2015, Wanda acquired the world’s largest triathlon company—World Triathlon Corporation. Within six months of the acquisition, we were able to secure triathlon events in the Chinese cities of Xiamen and Hefei. This sport was a blind spot for China. Only after our promotion, did the public learn what exactly triathlon is. Now, there are only a meager number of people practicing this sport in China. There are only 200 some people out of 1.3 billion strong, who are doing this sport. If we promote this sport in China, we can get at least hundreds of thousands of people to participate in it. Because China is entering an era of increased health awareness and the running trend has exploded, it has a huge space for development. It is very difficult for WTC to expand quickly overseas. It is remarkable, if it can even achieve single-digit percentage growth. Only in China can it gain more growth points and a faster growth rate.

Local talent
Our expansion strategy emphasizes retaining local talent. When Wanda bought AMC back in 2012, because it is a cinema operator, the United States government placed certain restrictions
on the acquisition. I went to the then US Ambassador of China Gary Locke and asked him to write a letter recommending us to the US government. He first asked, if Wanda bought AMC, does that mean that we will sell a large amount of movies to the US market? I said this is unlikely, even if I wanted to sell Chinese Film to the US, we would need audiences to accept them first. If the movies were bad, the audiences wouldn’t agree. He then asked, Wanda is not planning to send the Chinese teams to the United States to manage? I said no and said the whole management of the company would leave after the merge. Mr. Luo was very pleased and wrote the letter along with other factors, the result of the AMC acquisition received the US government’s approval.

After the acquisition of Wanda and AMC, we only sent a liaison officer. This poses a problem, we acquired a company whose original shareholders are large multinational companies, then what makes Wanda able to manage the company better? We found that the best way to manage an acquired business is to keep the original management team, making it work better. Wanda’s acquisition of AMC has been established as a case study at Harvard Business School. A professor who wrote the case study visited our offices said two very classic things to us. First, nothing has changed. It’s still AMC, the name has not changed, the management team has not changed, location has not changed. Secondly he said everything changed, the company has undergone profound changes. Indeed, the professor’s summed it up very accurately.

I said, in the past, the management style of Chinese enterprises was learned mostly from the West, but we have our own advantages in the application level. The most basic is “policy design”, the core of which is to motivate people, rather than designed as a hellish micro-management system. Of course, the premise is that AMC now has an owner that can make decisions. Prior to this, it was owned by companies such as Morgan Stanley, Carlyle and Blackstone all well-known giants in America. But because their shareholdings were all similar, there is no main decision maker. Wanda now has the final say in the decision making process. When Wanda acquired AMC, the global financial crisis still persisted and jobs were unstable. So, we signed 5 year contracts with the company’s senior management team, and agreed that any excess profits would be shared one to nine with the team and Wanda. This mobilized everyone’s enthusiasm and the company made huge changes in one year. The second year it went public.

From this, I’ve also realized one point, if you acquire or invest in any country in the world, you have to keep local talent and retain the original management team, and find ways to motivate them. Don’t think you can send Chinese teams wherever you expand.

Wang_Jianlin_Saïd_FlI_conference_room

Point Three – International development

Wanda has become an ambassador for not only China’s private companies, but especially as an overseas ambassador for China’s private companies. From 2012 to now, within the space of three years, in more than a dozen countries, we’ve invested over 15 billion US dollars of which $10 billion was invested in the United States. Thus, we are warmly welcomed in the United States.

When Wanda acquired AMC in 2012, I said I’d invest $10 billion in the US within a decade. The next day a US journalist published a story, with the title “Mr. Wang, I hope you keep your promise.” Three years later, in 2015, Wanda already invested $10 billion in the United States. I asked my assistant to tell the journalist to write a follow up article titled “Mr. Wang keeps his promise”. Wanda invested 1.2 billion pounds in the UK with more than 2600 employees. Yesterday at the global launch of ‘The Wanda Way’, we also discussed a big investment project with the British government, which we hope to launch as soon as possible.

Although Wanda’s international expansion hasn’t been going on for long, we’ve grown aggressively and made steady progress. But from a dialectic perspective I view our overseas expansion as follows: If we hadn’t yet failed, then we’d surely be closer to failure. Wanda doesn’t rule out the possibility of failing, but we have a belief that as long as subversive risk doesn’t occur, we should be able to do it. In fact, once you make that first big step, the thought of going global isn’t so daunting.

Point Four – Objectives of Going Global

First, we look at the substantial growth in overseas earnings. Last year, Wanda unveiled strategic targets for the next five years, which entails achieving “2211” by 2020. The goal is that by 2020 we will have more than 200 billion US dollars in assets, a market value of over 200 billion US dollars, revenues of more than 100 billion US dollars, net profit exceeded $10 billion, with 30% of our overall revenue coming from overseas.

In order to measure if an enterprise is a multinational enterprise, the core indicator is that overseas revenues exceed 30%. One type of international company manufactures products in their home country and sells these products overseas, making their products international. Another type has one to two investments in different countries, but this only accounts for a small percentage of its overall business and this company’s management style, management structure and corporate culture can’t really be considered multinational level. Therefore, a real multinational company not only needs to be big. It needs assets in the tens of billions of US dollars, and at least 30% of its revenue needs to come from overseas. Wanda’s overseas revenue will reach the $10 billion mark this year, which means we’ve got a lot of work to do if we want to reach our goals in 2020.

Secondly, we look at becoming a leading multinational organization. We not only want to become a leading company, but most importantly want to become a leading multinational organization. If Wanda can achieve its “2211” targets, then it will rank among the top companies in terms of assets, revenues and net profits. This goal is inspiring my company and inspiring me.

Some people say I’m China’s most successful businessman and a lot of people ask how I’ve managed to achieve this success, which I reply is due to a lot of reasons, but the key reason is hard work. If you don’t work hard, it’s impossible to turn all conditions into reality. Because Wanda has a long term vision, we’re still able to continue growing fast. Our 2015 revenue, assets and net profit all grew by 20% compared to 2014. This seems like a very fast growth rate, but for Wanda, this is the first time in many years that the growth rate is below 30%. Before this, we grew at over 30% every year. In the midst of a major restructuring in the world economy and a slowing Chinese economy, our growth speed has dipped a bit, we’ve still managed to grow relatively quick which is a guarantee that Wanda will ultimately become a leading international company.

Thank you all!

Q&A Session

Thun: A multinational firm needs connectivity, but also autonomy for local managers. Is there a tension between trying to pull together connectivity within Wanda companies while also giving them autonomy?

Wang: English is our greatest challenge! We have a lot of senior employees in Wanda. However, when going global, in tourism, sports and entertainment, inadequacy in English language is a huge challenge. Though these people are good, they cannot be put to good use because of their lack of English language skills.

When we recruit locally, we give preference to Chinese who speak good English and foreigners who speak good Chinese. We receive a lot of expats in China, but they can speak good Chinese, so the language barrier is mitigated. There is no standard answer, and we need to explore by ourselves.

Thun: Many companies expanding overseas from China are state-owned companies, and they have not been successful. One of the questions from James Kynge, the Financial Times, is the one of the reasons are these from motivated from non-commercial motivations and this is part of the problems with their investments?

Wang: When Going Global, any type of enterprise can do well and it is irrelevant whether they are private or state-owned, but in general, private companies are doing better. The difference is that the bosses of State-owned enterprises are unable to set long term goals because their position will be replaced in two or three years. Moreover, state-owned enterprises do not have international standards for their management systems, and have long cycles for their approval process.

Let me give you an example: Wanda is planning to build the highest building along the River Thames in London, an included in the project development is a high end hotel. This is an auction asset and one of our senior general managers came across this opportunity on his trip to the UK. We faced with the choice of one week completion or the asset would go to auction, when the price would be much higher. So the GM calls me and we calculated the price – it came to £900 per square meter. It’s surprisingly cheap. I made the quick decision to go for it, signed the agreement and paid the case in three days. In similar situation, it would have been very difficult for a state-owned enterprise to make that swift decision.

Thun: Last month you bought a film studio in California. When you talk about the competitive advantage of Wanda in real estate you talk about execution. You remain disciplined. Does this advantage translate easily into the cultural industry?

Wang: Execution is the only way to development. All companies need to perform. I remember that Jack Welch, a famous US management guru and former CEO of GE, who once remarked that execution is the key to a company’s success, and I fully endorse the idea. For all industries, execution is critical. In Wanda, we develop a plan for each of our business units across cinema, entertainment, sports, and properties at the beginning of each year. The plan is very detailed, with capital allocation, cashflow, and so on, broken down to weekly level. Then we incorporate an innovative system to track respective metrics on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. If the metric is not delivered, it goes from green to yellow, and if there are two yellow lights it turns red and we have to respond. We replicate this model from real estate to other areas of the company. Some say that you need to wear t-shirts and slippers to work in the cultural entertainment industry, but I say that the ideas are up in the head, and it has no bearing on what you wear.

I am a great believer of execution, and that’s why Wanda has created the world’s only business case in opening dozens of mega commercial centers, 10-20 hotels as well as other projects in the entertainment industry and tourism, and are able to open them on the very day that we intended. It looks easy but in reality it is very hard to do.

Audience question: You have a policy of offering incentives of 10% profits to managers. But how does it work in the hotel industry? I can’t afford that myself. How do you do it?

Wang: Wanda has close to 100 five-star Wanda hotels in China and seven five-star hotels under construction overseas. There are two models in managing our hotel in China, one is self-managed by Wanda and other is managed by third party, the latter of which includes collaboration with 20 international hotel management firms.

When the business environment is favourable you can’t see the problems in front of you. Only when the economy slows down, then you can note the marked difference in performance. The hotels managed by ourselves always met their targets while it was not always the case for those managed by international hotel management firms. Our core competence is in our management and execution capabilities. We have daily reports on revenue, expenses, and profits that we submit to our headquarters which allows management to spot any potential risks and issues that may affect the achievement of our pre-set targets. Our targets break down to a daily and weekly basis, so again execution is the key and cannot solely rely on incentives. Hotel management is a very sophisticated industry with many moving parts. It is high end, but in practice it is the same.

Audience question: Last Fall after Xi Jinping’s visit to the UK, he remarked that China and the UK had entered a “golden age”. Has Wanda considered entering into strategic cooperation with outstanding businesses in the UK, or possibly in emerging markets?

Wang: Thanks for bringing me a new vision. Well, I want to ensure Wanda a successful globalization first. Last year I met with the UK Trade and Investment board and proposed that they use Wanda’s platform in China to develop Chinese enterprises. Wanda provides platforms. If you want to make a venture in China, I’d be happy to offer you a good platform. No matter it’s about garment, or catering, or cosmetics.

Audience question: Student here. Why do you pursue your fortune? Is it for wealth, or perhaps a sense of social responsibility?

Wang: I am driven to pursue a bigger, better life. I told my staff that once we had revenues of RMB100 million then we retire! Of course we didn’t, we just readjusted our goals.

Next it was important that we step out nationwide. China is more than twice the size of Europe, so we then targeted to be a famous brand. So for many years the force driving me was increasingly ambitious. Over the years we wanted to make ourselves a leading global enterprise, and we have not yet achieved that goal.

Maybe by 2020, and then I’ll either retire or readjust my targets. I told someone that I’d really retire after $10 billion, but we achieved that quickly thanks to the Chinese economy. It was too easy to achieve that. I thought, is it too early for me to retire? So then I reset the target. If we become a world class enterprise and earn $100 billion, I’d probably retire from business but that does not mean I would stop working. I’ll set up a charitable fund after that for different things.

To summarize, I have different targets to stimulate myself in different phases. I think we should readjust goals along the way and set realistic targets to make them happen, step by step.

Audience question: you are a very busy man. Do you reserve your personal time for something, or does work mean everything to you?

Wang: Work isn’t everything, but it is the most important thing. I want to have some time to myself but I can’t. I want to rest but people keep calling me all the time! For 4-5 years I haven’t been in involved in day to day operations but people still arrange for me to meet a lot of people. Now that we are an international company, a lot of foreigners would like to meet me and I attend those meetings as well. With lots of meetings and dinners, it is hard to rest.

Audience question: I would like to ask about acquisitions. The global economy is tough right now, and listed companies are finding it hard to value themselves effectively. How do you balance cheap valuations and unsure business prospects from listed companies with Wanda’s M&A strategy?

Wang: Any time is a good time for M&A. As Charles Dickens said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” It’s the same thing. It is hard to determine when is inexpensive and when is expensive. It may be the case if you look at your investment on a 2-3 year timespan, but if you take a long term view, say 10 years, then it really does not matter. The most important thing for acquisition is selecting the right business that fits your business direction. It can help your business to expand, or it can connect you to an industry that you weren’t previously in. This is truly the most important point. Valuation is for investors, not for entrepreneurs.

Thun: One question which a lot of people were interested in was the strategy for Wanda in the UK. Where are the good investments here? If the UK leaves the EU will it be less attractive as an investment?

Wang: Two questions there. I’ll answer the EU one first. This is just my opinion, I could be wrong. But I think the UK won’t leave the EU. Historically, the UK was always part of Europe. There’s a historic and cultural connection, and in a globalized economy the UK can’t go it alone. It’s hard to say whether they would have a better life outside of it. The most important thing is that it’s easy to exit but hard to rejoin. There are certainly many disadvantages if Britain exited the EU, but of course this is my own opinion. I’m not a politician.

As for the Wanda UK strategy: I think the UK and the US are equally important countries. I invested $10 billion in the US because they’re a big market, but the UK is the freest market in the world. The US claims to be a free country, but for investing there are many complicated approval processes. They can easily take back your license after 50 years. However, the UK has a very sound legal system and a very impressive service industry, which makes them very attractive for us. We hope to establish our office in the UK as business centre for Europe.

Once this project is confirmed, we may consider to have our EU headquarters here in the UK. Our hotels can add up to 3,000 new jobs, and we are in discussions right now to add an additional 10,000 jobs in the UK, including other entertainment projects. I think this adequately reflects the importance of the UK to Wanda.

Moreover, my child studied in the UK.

Thun: There is a great deal of worry about China right now. What are the biggest risks facing China, and what reforms are needed to keep the economy moving?

Wang: The biggest challenge facing China is the structural transformation of our economy.. The Chinese economy has 3 major drivers: investment, export and consumption. Exports are not faring as well as they used to, partly due to a struggling global economy, including Europe. As for investment, investment opportunities with good returns are getting fewer.

Whether it is active or passive, the Chinese economy has to go through a structural transformation. During this transformation process, development is bound to slow down and employment may become a serious issue. For China, this is a necessary process we have to go through, which is why we’re seeing economic growth softening.

But there are also many opportunities to be found through such a transformation. My ancestors, when they were inventing the Chinese language, hit upon a very accurate word: weiji (crisis). A crisis isn’t just dangerous, it is made up of two characters: “wei”, risks, and “ji”, opportunity. Crisis also offers opportunities. This is beautiful dialectic, from Laozi.

Take me, for example. I am struggling in manufacturing and exports, but I am making incredible strides in services, entertainment, and tourism. Last year outbound tourism in China grew 20% and spent trillions overseas. So as long as you identify the direction in which the country is going, you target domestic demand, particularly in entertainment, sports, and tourism, the opportunities will abound.

Thun: Over the past 30 years, a lot of innovation has come from local Chinese officials who are willing to try new things. I have heard a lot of people say that the anti-corruption drive is agreed upon, but many local officials are afraid to innovate. Do we need bold reform now to get things started again?

Wang: These two factors aren’t related. I feel I should say that innovation is not necessarily linked to just startups, innovation is better. Staying put without progress may cause a bigger problem. China’s economy has indeed slowed down, and some say that local officials do not see it that way. The root cause of the problem lies in the design of the system. We have to mobilize enthusiasm for the anti-corruption campaign and we need to deepen its efforts. But I cannot believe that it is because of the campaign that local officials do not work. For those of us who build businesses, there is much less trouble now than there was before, particularly for private enterprises.

Audience question: In the 80s and 90s, many entrepreneurs in China were regarded as heroes, but now the economic situation changed so much that it has impacted the ability of people to truly innovate. How can we start companies in this difficult time?

Wang: I can only give my advice. Actually, startups have it easier now than they had it before. If I took RMB500,000 in registered capital I’d have had to borrow someone else’s money. Do you know how much interest there would have been? 25% per year, to be paid within five years. But if you were unable to get a loan you were unable to register your company. Nowadays there are lots of startup funds available. We and other people have set up a fund called the “youth entrepreneurship program” which can support around 100 people a year. The key is to know how to attract financing. Most importantly, you need a viable business plan. You don’t have to start a hi-tech business. Traditional businesses still have the advantage of being long term and reliable. I am in full support of entrepreneurship.

Audience question: Hello Mr Wang. Thank you for being with us today, it feels like I have gained a decade of experience listening to you here. I wanted to ask a macroeconomic question, but they have already been answered. I believe my other question will be on behalf of everyone in the audience. You mentioned that Wanda employs 18,000 people in the US and 2600 people in the UK, and you’re about to open up another project here which will provide a further 10,000 jobs. How can we in this hall contribute to Wanda? We are overseas Chinese with good English, and we would be honoured to be a part of the leading global Chinese company.

Wang: Tell me, would you prefer to serve in China or the UK?

Questioner: I am leaning towards the UK.

Wang: As I just said, we are currently exploring whether or not this large project can make its way into the UK. This was actually proposed a couple of years ago, but for various reasons it has fallen behind. I have a couple of days this week to head to another country for a big project, and it is a shame that the UK was not able to be chosen for that project. It was fine initially, but because we were not number one we can become better. Even if this entertainment project takes second or third priority and takes a couple of years to complete, at least we will have been able to provide 10,000 jobs when all is said and done. You speak such good English, so I must admit you. Don’t think I’m joking, we’re being broadcast live. Just say that you asked a question at Oxford University and I will certainly accept you.

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