While Vanke made big news last week for its rebound in profits, the company’s boss Wang Shi grabbed even bigger headlines when it was confirmed that he is divorcing his wife for a movie actress 30 years his junior.
Wang Shi, who made his first fortune by using his father-in-law’s connections to sell grain from northern China to southern China, and built Vanke into China’s largest property developer by sales volume together with his wife Wang Jiangsui now has divorce proceedings underway. (During the time that Wang Shi made his first fortune, his father-in-law was Vice Party Secretary of Guangdong province).
The new interest in Wang Shi’s life, other than creating new blocks of flats, is 31-year old actress Tian Pujun, who previously was a player in the popular TV series, Legend of Zhen Huan. The two apparently met at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in China.
Apparently, the media feeding frenzy was ignited when a reporter from Caijing magazine posted the news on Sina Weibo, although the split had been rumoured for some time.
So while Vanke’s latest earning announcements were being released in the business section, Wang Shi’s love story has been dominating the gossip columns. A picture was released on a private Weibo account of Wang and Tian seated next to each other on a flight last January, and the affair was one of the top trending topics on the microblog service last week.
Sina even set up a special topic devoted to the story.In response to the story, Wang issued a statement asking the public to respect his privacy. For a developer who has previously gloried in selling his entrepreneur story and used his image as an adventurous mountaineer to promote himself, this may have been just a bit more publicity than he desired.