BEIJING:- Chinese conglomerate Wanda announced plans Friday to invest in movies produced by Sony Pictures under an agreement that moves the company closer to its goal of becoming a major Hollywood player. Owned by one of the country’s richest men, billionaire Wang Jianlin, Wanda is seeking to shift its focus from property to services and entertainment as profits wane in China’s real estate sector. The movie deal, Wanda’s first with one of Hollywood’s so-called “Big Six” studios, is a major milestone for the conglomerate as it attempts to transform itself into a heavy-hitter in the global entertainment industry.

“The alliance will help strengthen Wanda’s power to influence the global film industry, and set a good precedent for Chinese film producers in their international investment,” the company said in a statement. The company added that it would “strive to highlight the China element in the films in which it invests”, but did not provide further details.