Wanda’s ambitious expansion in the global movie industry

Jae Jung (Bloch School of Management, Management Department, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri, USA)
Devon Howe (Bloch School of Management, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri, USA)

The CASE Journal

ISSN: 1544-9106

Publication date: 13 November 2017



The Wanda Case offers an overview of Wanda Group’s transition from a real estate firm in China to a global leader in the movie industry. Wanda Group, a Chinese conglomerate headquartered in Beijing, caused a major commotion in the US movie industry when it acquired AMC Entertainment in 2012. The AMC acquisition was the largest acquisition by a Chinese firm in the USA up to that time, costing $2.6 billion. Following that, a series of acquisitions had made Wanda Group the largest movie theater company, respectively, in the USA, Europe, and the World by the end of 2016. In order to fully comprehend the transition of the Wanda Group, the case begins by introducing the group’s origins and its original business model. It then discusses the challenges in the Chinese real estate market and factors that played a role in Wanda Group’s shift toward the movie industry. The authors further introduce the trends in movie theaters/production, recognized on a global scale in China and the USA, including key competitors in the industry. Last, the authors discuss Wanda Group’s global expansion efforts through major acquisitions in the USA and Europe, and the challenges that Wanda Group faced.

Research methodology

The case was written with publicly available information, such as newspaper articles, databases and corporate websites. The authors did not disguise any details.

Relevant courses and levels

This case can fulfill various learning goals in international business and strategy courses. First, this case offers detailed information about the diversification process of Wanda Group. It first diversified from real estate development into the movie cinema and production business in China (i.e. product diversification). More recently, Wanda Group diversified into the USA and Europe (i.e. geographical diversification). With the information provided in the case, students will be able to evaluate the costs and benefits of diversification strategies. Second, students can examine pros and cons of available entry modes for international expansions. Particularly, students will be able to evaluate the costs and benefits of acquisitions to Wanda Group’s international expansion. The authors also believe that this case can be used for introducing a relatively less-known emerging-market conglomerate, especially from China. Last, considering the rich information this case contains, the authors may use it as an exam case to evaluate students’ comprehensive knowledge gained from the course.

Theoretical bases

The case discusses corporate strategy, particularly diversification, the resource-based view, and institutional theory.



Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision making. The authors may have disguised names; financial, and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Jung, J. and Howe, D. (2017), "Wanda’s ambitious expansion in the global movie industry", The CASE Journal, Vol. 13 No. 6, pp. 729-749. https://doi.org/10.1108/TCJ-03-2017-0017

Download as .RIS



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.