The search for an heir to a $122 billion empire has begun in China after Wang Jianlin’s told his father he wants to live a different kind of life. His son, 28-year-old Wang Sicong is reportedly reluctant to take over his father’s shopping centres, hotels, theme parks and sports clubs that are part of the renowned Dalian Wanda Group.
‘I have asked my son about the succession plan, and he said he does not want to live a life like mine,’ Wang, 62, told an entrepreneurs summit over the weekend.
According to billionaire Wang Jianlin, founder and chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, his son doesn’t want to take over his business.
Wang Sicong taking photos with fans in February 2015.
‘Perhaps young people have their own quests and priorities. Probably it will be better to hand over to professional managers and have us sit on the board and see them run the company,’ Wang said.
‘We have several professional managers as candidates.
‘The one who is handpicked and later trained to be a business leader should be no better than those who manage to stand out of the others through competition.’
Wang Sicong at the Wanda Plaza opening ceremony in September 2011.
According to the South China Morning Post, Wang Sicong is a 2% stakeholder in his father’s company, where he holds a director’s seat.
In 2011 he founded Prometheus Capital and also has shares in Invictus Gaming and Dining Concepts Holdings.
Last year he hit the news after he bought two Apple Watches for his dog called Wang Keke.
Pictures of the dog strutting around while wearing the smart watches were posted to Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter.
Wang Sicong is the only child of Wang Jianlin.
In a country with huge inequality that is growing by the day, the photos caused a public outcry. The Apple Watch sells for between £820 and £1,300 in China, which is more than what the average office worker in the big cities earn monthly.
Sicong has 21 million followers on Weibo, and his dog has its own separate account.
Sicong went to school in Britain and studied philosophy at the University College London.
Wang Sicong pictured at the China Digital Entertainment Expo & Conference in July this year.
Wang Keke proudly displaying his Apple Watches