Mickey to set up shop in Shanghai (3)

09:35, November 05, 2009      

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"The government cannot dictate the decision-making in public financing on the project," it said, adding that taxpayers are entitled to relevant information and their voices should be heard.

Ren Kelei, president of the Oversea Chinese Town Group (OCT), the parent company of Happy Valley, a major domestic theme park group that has operations in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Shenzhen, expressed optimism in the Disney deal.

"Disney coming to the mainland won't hinder the development of other theme parks. Instead, it will promote local brands and boost the growth of the entire industry," Ren said in a statement obtained by the Global Times yesterday.

He insisted that business at his park in Shenzhen, a neighboring city to Hong Kong, is doing well, with 2008 attendance of 5 million and profits exceeding HK$200 million.

Zhang Yiwu, a professor of culture at Peking University, told the Global Times yesterday that, "as the consuming market in China is booming, accompanied by the rise of the youngsters' consumption capabilities, the market is vast enough for Disney to make a killing."

"The launch of a Disney theme park in Shanghai will definitely boost the price of the land around the site sharply, and people forced to leave their homes can benefit. But for me, the Tokyo park is more attractive," said a Shanghai real estate company manager surnamed Chen.

A Beijinger surnamed Yang also noted that "it'll be nice to have access to a Disneyland without going through the trouble of visa stuff."

Liang Chen, Zhang Han and Wu Guoyi contributed to this story

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