Wang Jianlin may be ready to hand over the reins of his 634 billion yuan (HK$712 billion) business empire – spanning from shopping centers, theme parks and sports clubs to cinemas – to a successor, but his only son may not be the one.
The founder and chairman of Dalian Wanda Group said he was most likely to pick a professional manager to take over the running of his business, according to a speech he made at an entrepreneurs summit at the weekend.
"I have asked my son about the succession plan, and he said he does not want to live a life like mine," said Wang, according to a transcript of his speech on Wanda's website.
"Perhaps young people have their own quests and priorities. Probably it will be better to hand over to professional managers and have us sit on the board and see them run the company."
The scions of China's billionaire entrepreneurs are increasingly striking different paths, as more than three decades of breakneck economic growth and overseas education have given them experiences, world view and aspirations different from their parents'.
More than 80 per cent of Chinese heirs are not keen on taking the reins of their parents' businesses, according to a survey by Shanghai Jiaotong University, covering 182 of the country's top family-run companies.
Some were backing off due to intense pressures, while others simply were pursuing other career interests, another study by an association of private enterprises in the mainland showed.