Wanda: Flexing China's Soft Muscle

Wanda: Flexing China's Soft Muscle
Case Code: BSTR514
Case Length: 10 Pages
Period: 2011 - 2016
Pub Date: 2017
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: Dalian Wanda
Industry: Real Estate, Movie Show Business, Movie Production Business
Countries: China, USA
Themes: Business Strategy
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Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The Wanda Group or Dalian Wanda (Wanda), a Chinese multinational conglomerate, was founded in 1988 by Wang Jianlin (Wang), the richest man in China in 2016. The case discusses Wanda’s foray into the movie and entertainment business and its strategic acquisitions of cinema businesses and film studios across the globe. Such diversification served two purposes for the group. The first was China’s shift from an investment economy to a consumption economy. Wanda had preemptively decided to leverage on the rising per capita income of the Chinese, which would be channelized toward consumption. The second purpose served a greater cause of the nation: increasing its cultural influence across the globe. A greater stake in the movie value chain – right from production to distribution – meant greater exposure to Chinese content in the world. The case further describes the challenges and scrutiny the acquisitions have drawn.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Understand the diversification strategy adopted by Wanda
  • Understand the probable consequences of such a strategy
  • Debate whether such a strategy will enhance China’s soft power



Diversification,Global Expansion,Dalian Wanda,Soft Power,Movie Industry,China,International Relations

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