November 3, 2016

CHINA: Universal Studios Starts $7.4B Chinese Theme Park Construction in Beijing; Designed By Steven Spielberg; Scheduled To Open By 2020.

China Topix
written by Charissa Echavez
Monday October 31, 2016

Shanghai Disneyland is soon to face another rival as construction of a $7.4 billion Universal Studios theme park has reportedly started in Beijing, state media reported on Monday.

The park has allegedly secured a 50 billion yuan ($7.4 billion) investment and is expected to open its doors to the public by the end of the decade, state-backed Xinhua News agency reported.

Universal Studios Beijing will be the first major theme park to be constructed by a foreign developer in Beijing. It will span four square kilometers and will be located in Tongzhou, an eastern district of Beijing municipality, the China Film Insider reported.

Renowned Hollywood director Steven Spielberg will reportedly be involved in designing the park, Xinhua noted. Elements from both traditional and modern Chinese culture will be featured in the project.

Universal Studios Beijing will "pay 'proper homage to Chinese culture," Tom Williams, Universal Parks & Resorts' chairman and CEO, was quoted saying by China Film Insider during the park's official announcement in 2014.

A spokesperson for Beijing Construction Engineering Group said the first phase of the project will include Universal CityWalk trade and recreation complex, two resort hotels, and a park, Russian Construction reported. The project was approved by the National Committee for Reforms and Development of China in September 2014.

Universal Studio's Beijing location will be its third in Asia following Singapore and Osaka. It also allegedly plans to open another in South Korea.

Meanwhile, DreamWorks Animation is also reportedly working on an entertainment hub in Shanghai, according to the Channel News Asia. The National Business Daily newspaper noted that there were 21 theme parks opened last year, and another 20 are reportedly under construction.

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