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Say goodbye to another real estate giant: Wanda completes its “asset-light” reshuffle

(People's Daily Online)    16:19, August 11, 2017

One can no longer call Wang Jianlin and his Dalian Wanda a Chinese real estate giant, as it has waved goodbye to its traditional business. The group is now focused on becoming a leader in theme park and hotel management.

In an article published on Wanda’s official WeChat account on Aug. 10, the group said it has sold its steel and concrete "flesh," leaving it with an “asset-light soul.”

(File photo)

The “asset-light” transformation strategy was unveiled in 2015 when Group Chairman Wang gave a lecture at the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, saying that “heavy assets” will disappear from Wanda Plaza projects, meaning that Wanda Commercial Properties will be transitioned from a real estate developer to a business investment service operator.

One year later, Wanda reportedly began its transformation when Wanda Hotels and Resorts signed an agreement with Baicheng Real Estate Group for management of Wanda Realm Wuzhishan in Hainan province.

Since this February, Wanda has withdrawn more than 40 billion yuan ($5.9 billion) from no less than 84 Wanda Plaza projects. By July, Wanda has agreed to sell 77 city hotels and 13 resort projects for a total of 63.75 billion yuan to Guangzhou R&F Properties and Sunac China Holdings, National Business Daily (NBD) reported.

The latest reshuffle plan was announced on Aug. 9 as Wanda Cultural Travel Innovation Group and Wanda Hotel Management were sold for 7.05 billion yuan to Hong Kong-listed Wanda Hotel Development, marking the completion of a 11.09 billion yuan capital transformation, according to NBD.

“We believe the Chinese real estate industry has come to a turning point in terms of supply and demand, and the era of huge profits has come to an end,” Wang said in his speech in 2015.

Chinese real estate giants have been looking for a way out in recent years as the Central Government continues to enact measures to curb housing prices.

Another peer of Wanda, Vanke, has launched several senior care projects in several Chinese cities. In July, it also made public its logistics ambition by announcing the Vanke-led purchase of Global Logistic Properties Ltd, NBD reported.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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