The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Viacom Inc. executives are pressing ahead with plans to sell a stake in the Paramount Pictures movie studio despite resistance from controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone.
Communist China’s Dalian Wanda Group Co. – is in talks with Viacom about buying 49% of the Paramount studio, according to people familiar with the discussions, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Paramount executives, including Chairman and Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, have advocated selling a piece of Paramount to bring in much-needed cash.
Who is the the Chairman of Dalian?
Born in 1954, Wang Jianlin served in the Red Army between 1970 and 1986, at which time he was appointed Office Director of the Xigang District Government in Dalian. He has served as Chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group since 1989.
Wang Jianlin has previously served as a deputy to the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
He was also a member of the 11th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Standing Committee and has also served as a vice chair of the 11th Congress of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.
He currently serves as vice chair of the China Charity Confederation; vice chair of the China Folk Chamber of Commerce; vice chair of the China Enterprise Confederation and the China Enterprise Directors Association; vice chair of the China General Chamber of Commerce; vice-chair of the Global Advisory Council of Harvard University.
He is Communist Chinese, period. No one does business with China without being a loyal member of the Communist Revolutionary Party.
Dalian Wanda has even sold stakes in the company to various family members of elected officials. This includes the elder sister of President Xi Jinping and relatives of two members of the Politburo—China’s principal policymaking committee—who provided seed money to the company.
As The New York Times reports, “[E]ven the most successful businessmen [in China] must still reach some accommodation with the party, which only a generation ago operated a socialist planned economy.” Wang Jianlin is no exception.
Acquisitions of major film studios and movie theater chains grant Dalian Wanda unilateral control of both production and distribution channels. In other words, a Chinese company closely aligned to the Communist Party will have direct say over both the production of a movie and its release to the public. Wang could, in theory, refuse to show movies unapproved by the Chinese government in one of his many movie theaters.
Our most un-American business leaders will sell a vehicle that could easily be used for propaganda to Communist China, a geopolitical enemy, and they are doing it for money. That’s globalism!
Given the hard-left permeating Hollywood, it should come as no surprise.
In January, the Dalian agreed to acquire production and finance company Legendary Entertainment, the studio behind “Warcraft” and “Godzilla,” for $3.5 billion in cash. It is a major expansion of Wanda’s presence in the global entertainment industry; it now owns one of the biggest independent movie makers in Tinsel Town – an acquisition that now gives Wanda the rights to such popular blockbusters as the recent Straight Outta Compton, The Dark Knight and Inception.
There have been earlier efforts to acquire larger American studios and filmmakers, but none as successful as the acquisition of Legendary. Doing so is a goal of the central Chinese government, as a way of expanding its “soft power” through cultural industries, the WSJ noted.
Wanda also owns control of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the second-largest cinema chain in the U.S. This week, AMC Entertainment said it is offering to acquire Europe’s largest movie theater chain Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group, for £500 million ($650 million). It also makes movies and owns theaters in China, but the U.S. acquisitions will give the ChiComs a direct propaganda link to the American public.
The company is also interested in purchasing at least a portion of Lionsgate, the $4.7 billion producer of “The Hunger Games.”
Last year, Wanda also acquired the Ironman triathlon series of races for about $650 million plus debt from U.S. private-equity firm Providence Equity Partners.
Expect a lot of pro-China propaganda, censorship and worse.