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Dick Clark Productions to Be Sold to Chinese Company for $1 Billion

Amie Tsang
US singer Taylor Swift performs during the annual New Year's Eve celebrations in New York.
Jewel Samad | AFP | Getty Images

Some of America's most glittery TV spectacles will have a Chinese owner.

Dalian Wanda Group said on Friday that it would buy Dick Clark Productions for about $1 billion, giving it the broadcasting rights to the Golden Globe Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards and the New Year countdown celebrations in New York.

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Dalian Wanda has been on a multibillion-dollar spending spree in the entertainment industry. It is the world's biggest owner of movie theaters, with complexes across the United States, Europe and Australia. This deal would bring productions including Miss America and the Hollywood Film Awards under the same roof as "Godzilla" and "300," films by Legendary Entertainment, another company that Wanda snapped up in recent years.

Why Dalian Wanda's Hollywood plans make sense
Why Dalian Wanda's Hollywood plans make sense

Some see the company as a propaganda threat, and it has had to defend itself against concerns that its acquisitions are part of a pro-Chinese agenda.

The Justice Department has been asked to review Wanda's recent purchases because of fears that the company, which has financial ties to relatives of senior Chinese Communist leaders, could be trying to influence how China is portrayed in films.

Wang Jianlin, chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, told The New York Times in October that his company only wanted to help American film companies increase their market share in China. Mr. Wang, who was visiting the United States to attract more film production to Wanda's Qingdao Movie Metropolis, added that it was "not like we are invading" and pointed out that Wanda had bought and strengthened struggling companies like AMC Theaters and Legendary.

Is Dalian Wanda's Hollywood deal too good to turn down?
Is Dalian Wanda's Hollywood deal too good to turn down?

This would be its first step into television production. The company noted in a news release that it would be "occupying the highest-end TV program resources from the start," adding that these television rights would be "complementary" to its focus on film, tourism and sports.

Wanda agreed to keep Dick Clark's managers and has signed a long-term agreement with them.

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