Wang Jianlin has claimed the Wanda Group becoming a FIFA partner will boost China’s hopes of staging the World Cup ©Getty Images

Wanda Group chairman Wang Jianlin has claimed becoming a FIFA top sponsor will boost China’s hopes of staging the World Cup in the future.

The conglomerate, who have interests in the real estate and entertainment industries, became the first Chinese company to become a FIFA partner last week.

As a partner, the highest tier of FIFA’s sponsorship structure, Wanda were granted rights to all competitions and corporate activities up until the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

Following the agreement, the company claimed the sponsorship was an important breakthrough for their business and would help to expand their brand’s presence on the international stage.

According to the Chinese news agency Xinhua, Wang claimed today that the company would support a Chinese bid for the World Cup and believes more businesses from the country could become FIFA sponsors.

"If China lodges a bid to host the World Cup, Wanda will definitely back it,” he said.

“Probably more Chinese companies will join the FIFA sponsors club.

“And, I think, it will boost China's chances of winning the host rights if the Chinese government decides to bid for it.”

Under the existing FIFA statutes, China would be unable to bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, with Asian counries ineligible due to the 2022 edition of the tournament being held in Qatar, a member of the same Confederation.

Asian nations would be able to bid for the 2030 edition, however, with the tournament coinciding with the final year of the Wanda Group’s deal with FIFA.

The sponsorship of Wanda, who own Infront Sports & Media, whose chief executive if the nephew of former FIFA President Sepp Blatter, and have bought the World Triathlon Corporation, came as a major boost to the governing body.

It followed FIFA announcing a loss of $122 million (£84 million/€108 million) in 2015, which they attributed to an increased budget for development expenses and higher competition costs, as well as “unforeseen costs such as legal fees and costs for extraordinary meetings.”

Wanda claimed the deal will also help them to develop Chinese football and boost the country’s influence on international football.

“As a partner of FIFA, Wanda will be better placed to play a role in the bidding process to host major football events such as the World Cup, closing the gap on international football and enabling Chinese football to have a say in international football," said a statement by the company.

“Although the development of football in China is still in its infancy, with world’s largest football fan base and biggest football market, opportunities are enormous.

“Wanda will leverage on the expertise of FIFA to raise professional standards and operations of Chinese football, and increase the pace of development of football industry in China.”

insidethegames has requested a response from FIFA on Wang's comments.