Asia Minute: Big Chinese Deals for California Companies

Jan 13, 2016

Credit Isaac "AYE MIRA" Sanchez / Flickr

While China’s stock market has been volatile lately, this has been a week of big business deals involving Chinese financing.  Buy-outs involving two California companies in very different lines of business underline the growing appetite for corporate acquisitions.  There’s a multi-billion dollar cash agreement for a Hollywood production company and a much smaller deal involving  a gay dating app. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Just twenty years ago, homosexuality was illegal in China.  Fifteen years ago, it was still considered a mental illness.  Now a Chinese gaming company has spent nearly $100-million to buy a majority stake in Grindr—a dating and social networking app for gay and bisexual men.

The Los Angeles-based Grindr says it has two million users a day in nearly 200 countries…but not in China, where gays and lesbians still face discrimination.  The electronic game developer Beijing Kunlun Tech may eventually expand the app to the Chinese market, although the company has not announced any immediate plans to do so.

In a much bigger deal, the Dalian Wanda Group is spending $3.5-billion for a majority stake in the Hollywood production company Legendary Entertainment.  Legendary is behind box office hits such as Jurassic World, Godzilla, and the “Dark Knight” Batman trilogy.  Dalian Wanda is already the biggest movie theater operator in the world.  It’s owned AMC Entertainment since 2012.

One common theme with the two deals: both are driven by corporate chairmen who are billionaires…thanks to the stock prices of their publicly-traded companies.