Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Disney to Build a New Park in Shanghai

The Chinese central government approved Walt Disney Co.'s planned $3.6 billion theme park (including hotels and shopping) in Shanghai. This could be one of the largest foreign investments ever in China, and marks an important milestone for the U.S. entertainment company's effort to extend its brand in the world's most populous nation.

A Disney park would bring tens of thousands of jobs to Shanghai, and help broaden its economy. The city aims to build itself into a world power in finance and shipping.

Chinese authorities on Wednesday confirmed an announcement by Burbank, Calif.-based Disney that it had won Beijing's endorsement for its project after years of planning. If it is completed, Shanghai Disneyland would offer the company a significant presence in the huge Chinese market. Shanghai is also in the midst of preparing for the $4.19 billion World Exposition due to start in May.

Disney already operates one theme park in the Chinese city of Hong Kong, which is separately administered and which mainland Chinese require a travel permit to enter. The Shanghai park, to be located near the city's international airport in the Pudong district, will be much larger and specifically designed with cultural touches meant to appeal to a domestic Chinese audience. China's population is so huge that the new park won't even have to rely on foreign tourists.

It is clear that designers around the world will have an eye on China from now on.

No comments: