Wanda City is the company’s brand of operations that integrates culture, sports, tourism, hospitality, and commercial properties. It is the second such project greenlighted in the past days, having signed one in Hunan Province last week.
Xi’an, a former capital of China and the start of the ancient Silk Road, is already a major tourist destination. It boasts world heritage-protected temples, pagodas and relics. Wanda says that it will cooperate with the Shaanxi provincial government in commercial properties, culture, Internet technology and finance.
It will invest $7.3 billion (RMB50 million) in the Wanda City and a further $7.7 billion (RMB53 billion) across the province, including the building of a further 19 Wanda Plaza shopping malls in 10 cities.
Wanda promises to bring the Ironman competition and other sporting events to Xi’an. It acquired the World Triathlon Corporation, which operates the Ironman endurance competitions, in a $650 million deal last year.
Wanda sees its cultural tourism centers as rivals to the theme parks being developed in China by Western entertainment conglomerates including Disney, Six Flags and Comcast-Universal-DreamWorks Animation.