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China's richest man opens $5.1bn complex to rival Disney
« on: September 26, 2016, 07:35:41 AM »

The Wanda Cultural Tourism City in Eastern City of Hefei, is the second Wanda City to open this year, with its first phase covering three million square metres including a shopping mall, theme park, hotel and a bar. Wanda's chairman Wang Jianlin says he hopes to build 20 complexes of its kind across China.

With China's economy slowing, the China National Tourism Administration has predicted a large decrease in the level of outbound tourism. Jianlin, therefore, hopes to capitalise on increased domestic tourism to build an empire rivalling Disney, which opened a multi-billion dollar Shanghai resort earlier this summer.

Speaking to Reuters earlier in the year, Jianlin, who owns a 20% share of Spanish football giants Atletico Madrid, said: "At Wanda, I always say we want to ensure Disney is not profitable for 10-20 years in this business segment in China.

"One tiger is no match for a pack of wolves," he said. "Shanghai has one Disney, while Wanda, across the nation, will open 15 to 20."

According to the Wanda Group's website, the new complex's water park is home to China's "longest indoor hydro-magnetic roller coaster in China, the world's first two-layer flowing river, and the largest indoor loudspeaker combination [in China]."

Meanwhile, its outdoor theme park boasts "the world's tallest vertical loop roller coaster, and China's first broken track roller coaster".

Hefei Wanda City aims to become the host venue for major events in the Anhui Province, including China's first Ironman triathlon.

A further CNĄ10bn (Ł1.16bn, $1.50bn) will go into the city's second phase which includes a large indoor recreation project and will begin in the next 12 months. The third phase is still in its planning stages.

The Dalian Wanda Group was founded in 1988 and holds assets of CNĄ634bn and revenue of CNĄ290.16bn. It owns the world's largest real estate enterprise and five-star hotel chain. It also own's China's largest cultural enterprise, as well as the world's biggest sports company.


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