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With support from 1,000 Communist Party members, Disneyland opens up in Shanghai, China

The theme was developed with the price tag of $5.5 billion and designed by China’s state-owned Shanghai Shendi Group

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DisneyLand. Image source: disneydose.com
  • Shanghai Disneyland opened up on Thursday
  • The 960 acre park was a joint venture by Disney and the Chinese Government
  • Character receives communist approval

The crowds consisted of thousands of eager people ready to experience Shanghai Disneyland for the first time. Some folks showed up as early as 4:30 am. Shanghai Disneyland opened on Thursday, June 16, and despite the overcast weather, the place was packed.

The park is a total of 960 acres. This monstrosity was completed with cooperation from two parties; the Chinese Government and Disney. This is something new for Disney, as they typically do not go into partnerships. The theme was developed with the price tag of $5.5 billion and designed by China’s state-owned Shanghai Shendi Group. This means that the profits will be split between the two parties. This also means all decisions regarding the functions and ideas for the park will be debated among both parties.

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Aerial View of Shanghai Disneyland Resort. Wikimedia Commons.
Aerial View of Shanghai Disneyland Resort. Wikimedia Commons.

The park concepts follow the same guidelines as other worldwide Disney parks. Some of the rides are exact replicas of those that you can find at Disneyland, while others are unique to the Shanghai park. Disney had to go into partnerships with firms ultimately owned by Shanghai’s government.

Disney’s Chief Executive, Bob Iger told journalists, “From the moment they enter, everything they see and experience, the attractions, the food, the entertainment, down to the smallest level of detail, is instantly recognizable not only as authentically Disney, but as distinctly Chinese.”

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Interestingly, when one journalist probed workers to talk about their salary many of them stated that they simply could not talk about it. When looking at prices of tickets, the only way the workers will ever get through the Shanghai Disneyland gates is when wearing their uniform. The cost for a family of three to attend the park is more than one month’s income in mainland China.

Many consider Disneyland to be a capitalist attraction, but nonetheless Shanghai Disneyland was supported by communist party members. As close to 1,000 communist party members were in attendance on Thursday to take in opening day. As Iger stated, the park is, “authentically Disney, but as distinctly Chinese.” This is clear not only in the unique rides and Chinese food, but also in the characters. Shanghai Disneyland has its very own Mickey Mouse, known as Me Low Shoe; he has been approved by the Communist Party.

-prepared by Abigail Andrea (with inputs from Scroll.in ), an intern at NewsGram. Twitter @abby_kono

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  • AJ Krish

    Its not only children who desire to spend a day in disneyland, but adults too look forward to the rides and shows it offers.The new disneyland with its Chinese touch is sure to amaze us all!

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Amazon Plans to Close its Domestic Marketplace in China by Mid-July

Amazon shoppers in China will no longer be able to buy goods from third-party merchants in the country, but they still will be able to order from the United States, Britain, Denmark and Japan via the firm’s global store

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FILE - Amazon plans to close its domestic marketplace in China to focus on more lucrative businesses there. VOA

Amazon.com Inc. plans to close its domestic marketplace in China by mid-July, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, focusing efforts on more lucrative businesses selling overseas goods and cloud services in the world’s most populous nation.

Amazon shoppers in China will no longer be able to buy goods from third-party merchants in the country, but they still will be able to order from the United States, Britain, Denmark and Japan via the firm’s global store. Amazon expects to close fulfillment centers and wind down support for domestic-selling merchants in China in the next 90 days, one of the people said.

Home-grown e-commerce

The move underscores how entrenched, home-grown e-commerce rivals have made it difficult for Amazon’s marketplace to gain a foothold. Consumer insights firm iResearch Global said Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s Tmall marketplace and JD.com Inc. controlled 81.9 percent of the Chinese market last year.

“They’re pulling out because it’s not profitable and not growing,” said analyst Michael Pachter at Wedbush Securities. Ker Zheng, marketing specialist at Shenzhen-based e-commerce consultancy Azoya, said Amazon had no major competitive advantage in China over its domestic rivals.

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FILE – A logo of JD.com is seen on a helmet of a delivery man in Beijing, June 16, 2014. VOA

Unless someone is searching for a very specific imported good that can’t be found elsewhere, “there’s no reason for a consumer to pick Amazon because they’re not going to be able to ship things as fast as Tmall or JD,” he said.

Amazon’s customers in China will still be able to purchase the firm’s Kindle e-readers and online content, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud computing unit that sells data storage and computing power to enterprises, will remain as well.

The U.S.-listed shares of Alibaba and JD.com rose 1% Wednesday after Reuters first reported the move, before paring gains later in the day. Amazon’s shares closed flat.

US retreat, e-commerce showdown

The withdrawal of the world’s largest online retailer — founded by the world’s richest person — comes amid a broader e-commerce slowdown in China. Alibaba in January reported its lowest quarterly earnings growth since 2016, while JD.com is responding to the changing business environment with staff cuts.

 

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FILE – A worker removes an advertisement billboard of Indian online marketplace Flipkart, installed along the roadside in Mumbai, India, Oct. 16, 2015. Amazon.com Inc. is concentrating on India and its competition, Flipkart. VOA

It also follows the Chinese e-commerce retreat of other big-name Western retailers. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. sold its Chinese online shopping platform to JD.com in 2016 in return for a stake in JD.com to focus on its bricks-and-mortar stores.

Similarly, the country appears to factor less in the global aspirations of fellow U.S. tech majors Netflix Inc., Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Pachter said.

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Amazon bought Chinese online shopping website Joyo.com in 2004 for $75 million, rebranding the business in 2011 as Amazon China. But in a sign of Tmall’s dominance, Amazon nevertheless opened an online store on the Alibaba site in 2015.

The firm is still expanding aggressively in other countries, notably India, where it is contending with local rival Flipkart. (VOA)