Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda signed a deal to market and co-finance movies produced by Sony Pictures providing the conglomerate its much sought entry into the global entertatinment industry on September 23.
Owned by the Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, Wanda is seeking to shift its focus from property to services and entertainment as profits the real estate sector are on the wane in the mainland.
"The alliance will help strengthen Wanda's power to influence the global film industry, and set a good precedent for Chinese film producers in their international investment," the company said in a statement.
This is the first time that Wanda is partenering with one of the "Big Six" studios of Hollywood and is a major milestone for the company that has been making prolonged efforts to become a heavyweight in the global entertainment industry.
Wanda has expanded aggressively overseas, snapping up a string of assets in Europe and the United States in recent years.
In January, the company acquired US production company Legendary Entertainment for USD 3.5 billion.
The company has also pursued numerous deals in the international sports arena, including the acquisition of the Iron Man triathalon.
But Wanda's founder Wang, who had also financed thsi years' Oscar winning movie "Spotlight", has his eyes set on Hollywood with the next step being working "hand-in-hand with the Big Six," said the company statement.
In July, Wanda was reportedly in talks to buy a stake in another "Big Six" US film studio Paramount Pictures.
The company's buying spree extends to brick and mortar investments: it bought US movie theatre chain AMC in 2012 for USD 2.6 billion, which in turn acquired the London-based Odeon & UCI cinema group in a deal worth around USD 1.2 billion.
Wanda also has a partnership agreement with North American entertainment giant IMAX Corp. to open cinemas in China.
In May it launched operations at its first theme park -- a USD 3.4 billion project in Nanchang -- in an bid to compete with "big six" studio Disney, which opened its own USD 5.5 billion resort a month later, its first in mainland China.