×
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

  • Martin Bandier to Be Honored at

    Martin Bandier to Be Honored at Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony

    Martin Bandier, outgoing chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, will be awarded the Visionary Leadership Award at the 50 th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 13 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. According to the announcement, the Visionary Leadership Award “acknowledges a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Board [...]

  • Hong Kong Disneyland Remains in the

    Hong Kong Disneyland Remains in the Red but Reduces Losses

    The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort theme park remained in the red for the fourth straight year, but there are signs of improvement. For the financial year to end-September 2018, HKDL reported $769 million (HK$6 billion) of revenue from 6.7 million visitors, an increase of 8%. Net losses fell from $32 million (HK$291 million) to $6.92 [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Good Morning America

    Jussie Smollett Angrily Denies Complicity in Attack

    Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett issued a statement Saturday denying that he orchestrated his Jan. 29 assault, and saying he is “angered” and “devastated” by recent developments in the case. Chicago police want to interview Smollett, after learning new evidence from two Nigerian brothers who were released on Friday night. Local media outlets have [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Colin Kaepernick Kneel

    Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid Reach Settlement With NFL

    Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, two football players who alleged the National Football League colluded to oust them from the game after they started kneeling in protest of racial inequality during the playing of the national anthem, have reached a settlement in the matter, according to a statement from the sports organization and lawyers representing [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Could Be in ‘Big Trouble’ Over Alleged New Sex Tape, Attorney Says

    Strong allegations of sexual misconduct have followed R. Kelly for 25 years, but the singer has always managed to slip free. Yet reports that a videotape of him sexually assaulting an underage girl, combined with the outcry surrounding the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” means that public sentiment, at the very least, is definitely not [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content