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Disney Trades Blows with Local Chinese Government Over New Park Rumours



Dan Entwistle

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About China

The Walt Disney Company was forced to deny claims that it would be constructing a third park in China after a local government listed the US company on a list of top investments for 2017.

Last week the Zhengzhou government office in Henan province included the Walt Disney Company on a list of important investments and commercial developments that would be taking place in the region throughout 2017. As soon as the list was released, people immediately began to speculate about the possibility of a third Disneyland theme park coming to China.

"Don't forget, kids: Snitches get stitches, haha!"

However, the speculation wasn’t given much time to grow as on Monday this week the US media giant released a statement denying the existence of any plans for a Zhengzhou expansion. In the statement the Walt Disney Company wrote: “In regards to the Zhengzhou government’s list, Disney’s inclusion was clearly a mistake. At present the Walt Disney Company has no construction or investments planned for Zhengzhou.”

The people of Zhengzhou were quick to hit back at Disney however, with many sources both within the government and at the Zhengzhou International Creativity Park (the alleged site where the Disney expansion will take place) reportedly confirming to The Paper that a ¥3 billion investment and construction has been planned. One source reportedly told The Paper “we have no idea why the Walt Disney Company is saying this."

Zhengzhou: It could do with a little more magic

Sources within the government went on to further state that the construction would not be a theme park but would be related to Disney and would be allowed to use the company’s intellectual property, including Disney’s “cartoons, culture and consumer products.”

At present Zhengzhou is arguably most well-known for being the home to China’s biggest iPhone factory. However, domestic tourism to the city is also quite large due to the city’s proximity to the Shaolin Temple.  

This isn’t the first time that the Walt Disney Company has come to blows with local Chinese governments. In June last year the company stated: “we don’t comment on rumors and speculation,” in response to claims by the Chongqing government that they were bidding to win the rights to construct a second Disney theme park in Mainland China.

Related: Disney to Open Second Mainland China Park in Chongqing?

Related: Shanghai Disney: Every Ride Reviewed

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