Sat | Dec 3, 2016

China approves Universal theme park in Beijing

Published:Wednesday | October 15, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Tom Williams, chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Parks and Resorts, stands next to a movie character called the Minion after he unveiled an artist's impression of the Universal Beijing theme park in Beijing on Monday, October 13, to be the first major foreign-owned theme park in the Chinese capital. AP

China has approved the development of a US$$3.3-billion Universal theme park in Beijing that would be the first major foreign-owned theme park in the Chinese capital.

The United States company Comcast NBCUniversal and a consortium of four Chinese state-owned companies announced the plan Monday, saying the park will be developed on about 300 acres (120 hectares) in eastern Beijing.

They said the Beijing park will include attractions from other Universal parks as well as new ones reflecting China's cultural heritage.

The complex will eventually cover about 1,000 acres (405 hectares) and feature a Universal CityWalk entertainment zone and a Universal-themed resort hotel. It will be the third Universal park in Asia, with the others in Singapore and Osaka, Japan.

The developers said they were not ready to announce a time frame for completing the park.

China's growing consumer market has proved fertile ground for US companies looking to expand theme park franchises. Disney has opened one park in Hong Kong and is building another one in Shanghai. In June, Six Flags announced plans to build six parks in China over the next decade.