China's formerly mighty Dalian Wanda Group, which had a grand plan to invest billions in the U.S. entertainment industry, is now getting a bailout from its onetime tech billionaire rivals.On Jan. 29, Wanda revealed that a consortium led by Pony Ma's Tencent had agreed to enter into a strategic partnership and acquire $5.4 billion worth of shares in Wanda's core commercial property unit. The deal was followed by the Feb. 5 announcement that Jack Ma's Alibaba and a state-backed holding company had acquired a combined 12.7 percent stake in Wanda's film unit for $1.24 billion.Although some observers were quick to lump the two deals in with Wanda's recent debt-reducing real estate sales, analysts closer to the market see other strategic maneuvering at play.After Wanda came under fire from Beijing regulators in 2017 over its aggressive overseas dealmaking, many came to wonder whether the company, or even founder Wang Jianlin personally, had fallen afoul politically. Rumors about the tycoon's … [Read more...] about Can China’s Tech Giants Restore Confidence in Wanda?
Jose Mari Goenaga and Jon Garano’s last film, Flowers, was one of the gems of 2014, a beautifully crafted meditation on love and mortality that became the first Basque film to be nominated as Spain’s candidate for the Academy Awards. Anyone hoping for more of the same will be surprised by Giant, a stately historical drama based on a true Basque story that plays out like an elegant but simple fable.Technically superb, Giant is hobbled by a script that plods earnestly along like the giant at its center, and like him it starts to limp soon after mid-point. Though it represents a new technical high point for Basque cinema, and is an authentic visual feast, it strains too obviously at magnificence, its subtlety sacrificed to its sweep. Despite walking off with Goyas for music, script, editing, photography and six more, Giant is unlikely to raise interest much beyond fests with an interest in its cultural value.An unnecessary voiceover about mutability tops … [Read more...] about ‘Giant’ (‘Handia’): Film Review
Following the public release of the controversial Nunes memo today, we’ve seen a whole lot of reaction from various parties involved. One of the figures that was central in the actual memo itself released a statement hailing the release of House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes’ document.Former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, who the memo contends was the subject of FISA abuses, praised the “brave and assiduous oversight by Congressional leaders” for finding the abuses in the FISA process. He added that it “represents a giant, historic leap in the repair of America’s democracy.”Below is the statement, via ABC News.As you can see in the statement above, Page also noted that he is going to update his “legal action in opposition to DOJ” in an attempt to “helping restore law and order in our great country.”[image via screengrab]— Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona Have a tip we … [Read more...] about Carter Page Hails Memo Release: ‘Giant, Historic Leap in the Repair of America’s Democracy’
Chinese tech giant Tencent is heading a group of investors who are paying $5.4bn to acquire a 14% stake in Wanda Commercial Properties. The deal enables minority shareholders in Wanda’s commercial property arm, which delisted from the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2016, to offload their shares.Wanda promised its minority shareholders that it would re-list in mainland China, but was unable to do so as it came under increased government scrutiny for its aggressive international expansion and mounting debts.Joining Tencent in the bailout are retail giant Suning Holdings, ecommerce platform JD.com and property group Sunac China Holdings. Following the acquisition, Wanda Commercial will be renamed as Wanda Commercial Management Group and focus on commercial management rather than property development.“This represents one of the world’s largest single strategic investments between internet companies and brick-and-mortar commercial giants,” Wanda said in a … [Read more...] about Chinese tech giant Tencent leads $5.4bn investment in Wanda’s property arm
Conservatives who feel slighted by social media giants are lawyering up, and some are taking their cases to Washington.On Wednesday, GOP operative Roger Stone for the second time said he was preparing a lawsuit against Twitter, and this time he said that Milo Yiannopoulos will join him. Meanwhile, a high-ranking Beltway source claims that a prominent Republican member of Congress is getting ready to call for congressional hearings into alleged discrimination against conservatives on the part of Twitter, YouTube, Google and more.The Stone and Yiannopoulos promise of a lawsuit that's planned to be filed in February comes the same day ambush-journalist James O’Keefe released undercover video of Twitter employees claiming the platform “shadowbans” conservative tweets so that, unbeknownst to the author of the tweets, they cannot be read by his followers.“It is time for Twitter to be regulated like a public utility or perish,” said Stone, who was banned in … [Read more...] about Right-Wing Activists Lawyer Up to Fight Tech Giants