pro Asian news -- 'Era of blindly following' Mickey Mouse is over, says Chinese billionaire battling Disney - LA Times
For those who have lamented China’s lack of soft power, that may change within the decade…
‘Era of blindly following’ Mickey Mouse is over, says Chinese billionaire battling Disney -
If Walt Disney Co. executives thought they were going to open a theme park in mainland China without major opposition, they were wrong.
Only weeks before the launch of the $5.5-billion Shanghai Disney Resort, a Chinese rival has vowed to outperform Disney with local theme parks that offer lower prices and more innovative rides and characters.
“I’m holding that we can win out,” said Wang Jianlin, chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, a Chinese conglomerate that specializes in hotels, malls and department stores. This weekend, the company plans to open a $3.2-billion tourism center in Nanchang, a midsize city in southeastern China.
The Wanda Group, which acquired United States-based AMC Theaters in 2012, has promised to build 15 to 20 other smaller theme parks across the country over the next several years. In January, Wanda reached a $3.5-billion deal to acquire Burbank-based Legendary Entertainment, one of the film production companies behind “The Dark Knight,” “Jurassic World” and “Godzilla” movies.