#Planet_China: China's Richest Man,Wang Jianlin,boss of Wanda Unveils Plan To Take Down Disney

This weekend China’s massive real estate and entertainment conglomerate, Dalian Wanda, is unveiling the first of a series of “Wanda Cities”. 


The company, headed by China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, has overtly taken aim at the foreign entertainment and theme park interloper, Disney (who are slated to open their $6 billion Shanghai Disney theme park on June 16, though a soft opening period is already underway).

Wang Jianlin chairman of property giant Wanda Group,
Located in the eastern Chinese city of Nanchang, the first of 15 planned Wanda Cities slated to open across China over the next five years (a further two Wanda Cities will also open in undisclosed overseas locations), is the latest offering in Wanda’s ever-increasing arsenal of entertainment products – a key sector in China as the economy shifts to a consumption driven model and the middle class grows to 630 million consumers strong by 2022 (according to research by McKinsey).


The key to the success of this and future Wanda Cities, according to a Dalian Wanda spokesman, is that it is more than simply an amusement park, with the 200-hectare culture and tourism project including an outdoor amusement park, a giant indoor “Wanda Mall”, with indoor ocean park, film park and children’s zones, a total of ten Wanda hotel resorts (including one billed as “six star”), more than 50 dining options and a commercial shopping district. The company estimates the Nanchang project cost a total of 20 billion yuan, or $3.05 billion at current exchange.

If anyone was under the impression that the timing of the first Wanda City opening, just weeks ahead of Shanghai Disney’s long-awaited launch (Shanghai’s local government first approved plans for the park way back in 2009), comments on Chinese state television last weekend from chairman Wang Jianlin should eliminate any doubt as to the deliberate nature of the competition being stoked by Dalian Wanda.

“One tiger is no match for a pack of wolves – Shanghai has one Disney, while Wanda, across the nation, will open 15 to 20,” the 61-year-old said.

And just in case there was still any confusion as to whether Wanda is directly taking aim at Disney, Wanda spokesman Liu Mingsheng followed up with a statement to media