By Jonathan Davies

One of China's most well-known billionaires has criticised the country's growth targets, describing them as a "fantasy".

The Chinese government is targeting economic growth of 7% this year. It has consistently been one of the fastest growing economies in the world over the past few decades. But fears over its ability to continue that growth are causing huge shockwaves in financial markets.

Shares returned to growth on Thursday, but did little to reverse the huge losses seen earlier in the week.

But Wang Jianlin has called for the government "to drop the fantasy of keeping a high growth rate of 7% or 8%".

He believes "sustainable and safe" growth of around 5-6% should be the new target - but even that would be seen as especially strong growth for western economies.

"China's economy needs to transform from relying on investment and exports to [relying more on] consumption. That's a painful process," he said.

"If the transformation doesn't happen now, it would be even more painful in the future."

Mr Wang made the comments as he announced that his company, Dalian Wanda Group, agreed a deal to buy the World Triathlon Corporation for $650 million.