×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China Puts Brakes on Theme Park Development

Chinese authorities have issued orders to halt the development of new theme parks. The sector has been enjoying a boom in recent years.

The new guidelines were issued by the central planning department, the National Development and Reform Commission. It said that large parks, involving over $235 million of project spend, would come in for special scrutiny.

The move appears to have two targets, the build-up of debt by provincial and city governments, many of which have been on a decade-long spending drive; and housing and office projects that are disguised as theme parks or similar cultural facilities.

“In the development of theme parks we’ve seen unclear concepts, blind construction, imitations and plagiarism, low-standard duplication and other issues,” the NDRC said, adding in some areas “local debt risks” were emerging. In the private sector, Dalian Wanda last year sold many of its theme parks to Sunac China, after the government intervened to force Wanda to reduce its debts.

China has seen the development of dozens of theme parks in recent years, ranging from major international collaborations such as the Shanghai Disney Resort, through to smaller ones with fewer concepts. Business models also differ. The Hengdian World Studios, near Hangzhou, claims to be the world’s largest film making facility. Film productions can use the site at discounted rates, with the facility earning revenues from streams of thousands of tourists per day.

Reuters cites market research firm Mintel as showing that China’s theme park market grew by 27% last year, with revenue hitting $6.27 billion.

It is not clear whether the NDRC intervention will bring an immediate halt to such large projects that can take years to build, or whether it halts the greenlighting of new parks.

With what appeared to be particularly bad timing, Korean digital effects company Dexter announced on Monday that it had won a $5.8 billion (KRW6.2 billion) contract to provide VR and other effects to a theme park in Hainan, being built by leading Chinese property developer Evergrande.

More Biz

  • National Enquirer - Jeff Bezos

    Hudson Media CEO James Cohen Purchases the National Enquirer

    Hudson Media’s CEO James Cohen announced Thursday that he will purchase the National Enquirer as well as American Media’s other tabloids, the Globe and the National Examiner. With the purchase of the National Enquirer, which Cohen reportedly bought for $100 million, he plans to strengthen their collaborative efforts, documentary shows, weekly podcasts, and theme parks. [...]

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music’s Free Tier Is More Advertising Play Than Spotify Killer, Analysts Say

    When news began to spread last week that Amazon Music’s long-anticipated free streaming tier was imminent, headlines emerged about its threat to Spotify and Apple Music, with some stories saying that Spotify’s stock price dropped in response to the news. But not only was today’s launch of the free tier basically a soft one — [...]

  • Nicki MinajCFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Dinner,

    Nicki Minaj Parts Ways With Longtime Managers (EXCLUSIVE)

    Nicki Minaj has parted ways with Gee Roberson and Cortez Bryant and Blueprint/ Maverick Management, a source close to the situation confirms to Variety. She had worked with the pair for the majority of her career. The source says the decision was mutual and amicable, and there was no specific reason for the split, adding [...]

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music Launches Free Streaming Tier, Through Alexa Only (for Now)

    Amazon Music today basically soft-launched its free streaming tier, in which U.S. customers of its Alexa voice assistant will have access to top Amazon Music playlists and thousands of stations, at no cost. The limited access that the new free service provides — it’s only available through Alexa, and when the listener requests a song, [...]

  • Donald Glover and Adidas Launch Short

    Donald Glover and Adidas Launch Partnership With New Shoes and Short Films (Watch)

    Donald Glover and Adidas Originals today announced Donald Glover Presents, a creative partnership that unveiled a new line of shoes and a series of brief — and very funny — films to accompany them. (Watch them below.) Donald Glover Presents reimagines threeAadidas styles, the Nizza, the Continental 80, and the Lacombe. The shoes feature uneven [...]

  • Kodak Black Arrested at Border on

    Kodak Black Arrested at Border on Gun and Drug Charges

    Rapper Kodak Black and three other people were arrested after they allegedly attempted to cross the U.S.-Canada border with guns and marijuana, officials told NBC News on Thursday. The 21-year-old rapper missed concerts at the House of Blues in Boston on Wednesday night after he was stopped at the Lewiston-Queenston International Bridge near Buffalo hours [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content