The Middle Kingdom Wants Its Own Magic Walt Disney
Entertainment ▶ Theme park operators target China’s growing consumer class ▶ “They want experiences, not just shopping”
The Chinese are no strangers to theme parks. The mainland is home to about 300, from one in Shenzhen featuring replicas of landmarks such as Egypt’s Sphinx and the Eiffel Tower to Yunnan province’s Dwarf Empire, an attraction where all the performers and staff are little people. But the industry is quickly getting more crowded. Dalian Wanda Group on May 28 opened its $3.2 billion Wanda City in Nanchang, which includes a theme park, a movie park, and an aquarium. And on June 16,
will unveil its $5.5 billion Shanghai Disney Resort, where Mickey Mouse will coexist with zodiac characters familiar to Chinese tourists. Five dozen more venues are scheduled to open for business by 2020.
China’s theme park market will
the second-largest stock dividend in U.S. history. Also sells 20% of Allstate; it’s the largest IPO in U.S. history.
1995 Distributes rest of Allstate to shareholders. Sells Coldwell Banker.
1997 Sells its majority interest in Sears, Roebuck de Mexico. 2002 Buys former sailing gear retailer Lands’ End. 2003 Sells retail credit card business to Citibank. 2005 Hedge fund manager Sears’s
largest shareholder, merges it with Kmart. Sears Holdings starts selling Diehard batteries and accepting Sears cards at Kmart. 2006 Begins selling Craftsman tools at Kmart.
Spins off outlet and neighborhood stores.
Spins off Lands’ End.
Considers putting Craftsman, Kenmore, and Diehard brands on the block.