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Dalian Wanda Group to build new central Asian theme parks

Dalian Wanda Group to build new central Asian theme parks
May 29, 2017

Chinese real estate and entertainment giant the Dalian Wanda Group has announced that it will build two new entertainment complexes, at unspecified locations, along the Central Asia’s Belt and Road route.

The two new attractions will be in addition to Wanda City theme parks near the French capital of Paris and the India capital of Delhi, and mark an expansion of China’s ‘soft power’along the key trade route.

The Silk Road Economic Belt, also known as the Belt and Road Initiative, is a development strategy proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping that focuses on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries, following the route of the historic Central Asian Silk Road.

Dalian Wanda Group Chariman Wang Jianlin outlines his plans to build gigantic theme parks whose scale could rival Disneyland, in countries along the Belt and Road route, as Chinese businesses back the ambitious trade development plan.

Deal to build the two entertainment complexes are expected to be agreed this year, with Wang stating “with the four planned overseas projects, we are already the world’s key exporter of cultural and tourism projects, second only to America’s Disneyland and Universal Studio.”

The 62-year-old billionaire, who also controls the world’s largest cinema chain, has long floated the idea of having his business empire take on Disney in the Chinese market and become a leading global entertainment park operator.

Wang added “of course we have a long way to go before catching up with Disney, but we will never close the gap if we do nothing.”

His conglomerate has also been in the forefront of Xi’s ambition to export China’s soft power globally, with a worldwide buying spree that added AMC Entertainment, the Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group, Australia’s Hoyts cinema chain, Hollywood studio Legendary Pictures, as well as noteable stakes in sporting businesses.

While Wanda has previously focused its overseas investment efforts in the Western countries, market observers expected it to shift its sights on the emerging economies along the belt and road route.

Images: Hefei Wanda City (top) and Wang Jianlin (below).

8th May 2017 - WORLD’S LARGEST INDOOR SNOW PARK OPENING IN CHINESE CITY OF HARBIN

2nd December 2016 - WANDA TO EXPAND TOURISM EMPIRE WITH US$30 BILLION INVESTMENT

18th November 2016 - WANDA GROUP SELECTS PREMIER RIDES TO DEVELOP ‘WORLD FIRST’ THEME PARK ATTRACTION

15th November 2016 - INVESTMENTS IN CHINA’S THEME PARKS DRIVING ASIAN TOURISM

24th October 2016 - WANDA HIRES FORMER HONG KONG DISNEYLAND MANAGING DIRECTOR TO RUN THEME PARK DIVISION

18th October 2016 - NEW DALIAN WANDA CULTURAL THEME PARK OPENS IN SOUTHERN CHINA

31st August 2016 - DALIAN WANDA TO BUILD US$9.45 BILLION CULTURE, SPORT AND TOURISM ‘CITY’ IN CHINA’S SHANDONG PROVINCE

8th January 2016 - WANDA’S LEGENDARY ENTERTAINMENT ACQUISITION LEADS TO JURASSIC WORLD THEME PARK SPECULATION

2nd January 2016 - WANDA SPORTS TO ESTABLISH GLOBAL BASE IN GUANGZHOU

26th November 2015 - DALIAN WANDA UNVEILS WANDA SPORTS GROUP

11th September 2015 - DALIAN WANDA BUYS IRONMAN TRIATHLON GROUP FOR US$650 MILLION

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