China’s Wanda Adds Payment Services Company 99Bill

HONG KONG — China’s Dalian Wanda Group, which controls AMC Cinemas and Wanda Cinema Line, has bought a controlling stake in 99Bill Corp, an electronic payments company.

The value of the deal was not disclosed, but analysts have estimated a cost in excess of RMB2 billion ($325 million).

“Wanda Group hopes that 99Bill will soon provide online payment solutions for all Wanda’s businesses, and quickly become a leading payment and financial service provider in China,” Ding Benxi, Dalian Wanda’s chief executive, told a news conference.

Wanda, which is China’s largest property group, is expanding into hotels, cultural tourism and e-commerce. Last week it opened its first major theme park, the Wanda Movie Park, and purpose-built live theater, the Han Show, both in Wuhan.

In August, Dalian Wanda joined Tencent Holdings and Baidu to launch an e-commerce joint venture that could leverage the group’s Wanda Plaza shopping malls, luxury hotels and cinemas, and puts it in competition with Alibaba.

Payment processor 99Bill can be seen as comparable to Paypal or to Alibaba’s Alipay.

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