Concerns Over Foreign Influence Crystallize in Hotel Feud

Lobby Issues in Hotel Vote
– Los Angeles Business Journal

The Los Angeles Business Journal quoted Manatt’s Lindsay Conner, co-chair of the firm’s entertainment and media practice, for an article about the closely watched allegations that the Dalian Wanda Group provided illegal funding to a campaign against the Beverly Hills Hotel. Although the accusations never led to an official investigation, the publication reports, it crystalized for many the growing influence of Chinese interests in local and national American politics.

Ultimately, the publication reported, Wanda Beverly Hills took the time to understand local and state election laws, making election contributions as only a small part of its strategy to get approvals for their deals.

“My role in representing Chinese companies is similar to my role representing American companies: Everyone is seeking to make smart practical deals that will advance the full scope of their interest,” Conner explained of his role representing Chinese companies in deals with local entertainment studios.

The only difference, he said, is that he might have to spend a little more of his time educating his Chinese clients on the nuances of the U.S. entertainment industry and political process. They leave the heavy lifting on getting the deals done to the hired consultants.

Read the article here