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Son of China’s richest man eyes K-pop

 The only son of China’s richest man appears to be helping K-pop bands increase their presence in China.

“Wang Sicong, the founder of Banana Project, has been in discussion for investments since he signed a contact with two girl groups T-ara and EXID last year,’’ a music industry insider, who wished to be identified only by his last name Cho, told The Korea Herald. 
Wang Sicong attends the charity event at a branch of his family’s cinema chain. China Daily
Wang Sicong attends the charity event at a branch of his family’s cinema chain. China Daily

Banana Project, a new Chinese show business agency, manages the ventures of K-pop groups in China.

Wang is a big K-pop fan himself.  He invited T-ara to perform at his lavish 27th birthday party last year. He posted a video clip of their performance on China’s microblogging platform Weibo and it went viral.

The 28-year-old is the only son of Wang Jianlin, the chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, China’s biggest real estate developer.

The older Wang was the richest Chinese last year with assets of $26 billion, according to Hurun Report, a China-based wealth research firm. He has invested in the global entertainment industry, focusing on movies as part of business diversification beyond the real estate sector. Wanda is currently the world’s largest movie theater chain operator with its acquisition of the U.S.-based AMC Entertainment Holdings in 2013.

Unlike his father, the younger Wang has his eyes set on music-focused, digital content business. Not much information is available about his wealth. Officially, he has a 2 percent stake in Wanda and has built his own business in the entertainment sector with his father’s support.

Wang’s investments in K-pop are expected to encourage other Chinese investors to follow suit, industry watchers said.

In January this year, Jack Ma, founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba secured a 4 percent stake in S.M. Entertainment, which manages K-pop groups such as Super Junior, EXO, Girls’ Generation and f(x).

S.M. also has business deals with Chinese web services company Baidu and Chinese Internet service portal Tencent.

By Seo Jee-yeon (jyseo@heraldcorp.com)













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