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China cracks down on overseas investments

Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin has spoken out amid reports that the Communist Party has instructed China’s largest lenders to stop financing Dalian Wanda Group, which has ambitions to own 33 million square metres of commercial property.

Mr Wang is the founder and chairman of Wanda, which has extensive overseas holdings including the planned $1 billion One Circular Quay project in Sydney launched earlier this year. The group also has an ongoing $1 billion luxury apartment project in the Gold Coast.

Reports surfaced over the weekend that China’s president, Xi Jinping, has halted Wanda’s overseas investment plans as the world’s second largest economy looks to confine investments within its borders.

The action comes as Wanda announced last week that it would sell some of its assets to R&F properties and indebted real estate developer Sunac. The deal has sparked rumours about Wanda’s ability to pay debt and generate cash.

"Many people are concerned about the liabilities of Wanda Commercial Properties. However, while most of them care about it out of real concern, a few spread rumours and attempt to make trouble,” Mr Wang said.

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“As the saying goes, one may harm others to benefit himself, but I don't really see how such rumours can benefit those who spread them,” he said.

"By the end of this year, Wanda Commercial will own 33 million square metres of commercial properties, with rent that will surpass RMB33 billion in 2018.”

Fears are now mounting that China’s crackdown on Wanda’s overseas acquisition spree could pull the pin on major projects across Australia.

A new report from Master Builders Australia predicts that apartment construction in NSW will almost halve over the coming years as restrictions are placed on foreign investment.

[Related: China investment flows 'decrease markedly']

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