Chairman Wang: ‘It’s about the process of pursuing wealth’

He’s China’s richest man, a self-made billionaire, and Odeon’s new owner. Who is Wang Jianlin and what drives him?

Admirers call him Chairman Wang. Almost half a century ago, as a teenage army cadet, he earned his stripes on a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) base near China’s frigid border with Russia.

Today, at 61, Wang Jianlin is one of the wealthiest and most influential entrepreneurs on earth – a globe-trotting tycoon who circles the world in a Gulfstream jet and rubs shoulders with an all-star cast of political and cultural figures, from the Chinese and US presidents, Xi Jinping and Barack Obama, to Nicole Kidman and Leonardo DiCaprio.

He’s got this huge empire and yet he’s approving just about everything. He’s very much the man in charge

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