Wang Jianlin made his immense fortune in the property game, so he should know...
China's wealthiest man has warned that its real estate market is currently in the "biggest bubble in history" and is short of ideas on how to deflate it without triggering a damaging crash.
Wang Jianpin, who started building his now $33.3 billion fortune in the property game and is now looking to establish his Dalian Wanda Group as an entertainment, tourism and sports juggernaut whilst locking horns (or mouse ears) with Disney, told CNN Money:
"It's going to be very difficult. The problem now is prices keep rising in the top cities and falling in the several thousand other cities.
"So the glut in medium and small-sized cities is not going away. Instead, prices in top cities are pushed up.
"I don't see a good solution to this problem. The government has come up with all sorts of measures, limiting credit or purchase, but none have worked."
Asked about the Chinese economy as a whole, Wang was of the opinion that it will remain "at the bottom" for another two or three years, attributing signs of rebound last month to the property sector – "and that's not going to last".
Only when we see continued growth of industrial profits and big jumps in consumer spending," he said, "can we call it a rebound."
Despite this apparent doom and gloom, the 61-year-old insisted that he remained "bullish" on the Chinese economy long term.
He also doesn't anticipate the hard landing that many commentators have.
"The Chinese economy has one characteristic," he explained. "The government has strong control over it. They still have a lot of policy tools, they can take measures to gradually reduce leverages. They can't do it too fast as we have seen in the stock market crash. The problem is the economy hasn't bottomed out. If we remove leverages too fast, the economy may suffer further."
As for Wang's own business, he also outlined his 10-year vision for Wanda, which has been cutting back on its real estate business to invest big in entertainment, sports and tourism, and purchased Godzilla and Jurassic World makers Legendary Entertainment in January as it sets its sights on Hollywood.
"In 10 years, I hope Wanda will become a renowned multinational company. A juggernaut. Considering my personality and how the company has been executing my plans, I think we will be number one in the world in real estate, entertainment, tourism and sports. That's our goal and we are determined to achieve it."