Tag Archives: Disney

Disney China- Shanghai Latest Financial News

LEISURE: Wanda Challenges Disney with Park-Building Binge

Bottom line: Wanda’s recent theme park building spree looks aimed at challenging Disney, but many of its new resorts are likely to fail due to lack of experience and poor choice of locations.

Wanda breaks ground on new Guilin park

Watch out, Disney (NYSE: DIS). Chinese real estate giant Wanda Group has recently embarked on a global theme park building binge that would put Disney to shame, and certainly outpaces the US entertainment giant in terms of investment dollars. This month alone Wanda is getting set to open a multibillion-dollar park in the interior Chinese city of Jiangxi, and it has also just announced the ground-breaking for another mega-park in the scenic southern tourist city of Guilin. Then there’s its plans for a $3.3 billion park near Paris announced in February, which would be its first major overseas resort. Read Full Post…

Shanghai Street View: Culinary Culture

Shanghai sets the table for Michelin Guides

A couple of culinary headlines this week are spotlighting the important role that food plays in defining a city’s character, not only in terms of local tastes but also its openness to out-of-town flavors. Shanghai’s culinary evolution over the last 2 decades has been nothing short of spectacular in that regard, as the city transformed from a regional backwater dominated by local fare like xiaolongbao to one where top-notch flavors from throughout China and abroad are widely available. Read Full Post…

ENTERTAINMENT: Shanghai Disney Greets 1 Mln, Fends Off Critics

Bottom line: Huge publicity around the new Shanghai Disneyland ensures it will rapidly become a major new profit center after it opens in June, but will also expose Disney to a wide range of mini scandals like one involving its high food prices.

Thousands flock to Shanghai Disney before opening

The hype is rapidly building as Disney (NYSE: DIS) gets set to launch its first theme park in more than a decade, attracting droves of visitors and also the first of what are likely to be many mini-scandals involving the $5.5 billion Shanghai resort. Leading the headlines is word that nearly 1 million people have already flocked to the areas outside the official park just to catch a glimpse of China’s first Disneyland from the outside.

The park has also been admitting smaller numbers of guests on a trial basis to sample the rides and other attractions in the run-up to the official June 16 opening. Some of those got indigestion from the high prices for food at restaurants in the park, leading to a mini-firestorm of criticism that Disney has quickly tried to control. Read Full Post…

MEDIA: China Trips up Disney, Paramount; Draws Comcast to DreamWorks

Bottom line: New China setbacks for Disney and Paramount look relatively minor, and reflect their growing involvement in a market whose fast growth is also driving Comcast’s pursuit of DreamWorks Animation.

DreamWorks’ China exposure draws Comcast

In a very rare occurrence, 3 top Hollywood studios are all in the China headlines today, reflecting the growing links between these media titans and a country that could become the world’s largest entertainment market in the next decade. Leading the headlines are relatively minor China setbacks for Disney (NYSE: DIS) and Paramount Pictures, which are facing new battles with Beijing censors and unhappy local clients, respectively.

Meantime, DreamWorks Animation (NYSE: DWA) is reportedly in talks to be bought by US cable TV giant Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), and some are pointing out that a major driver behind the deal may be DreamWorks’ strong China exposure. That’s because DreamWorks Animation has bet big on the market, with a major joint venture in Shanghai that produced the latest installment in its Kung Fu Panda series. Read Full Post…

China News Digest: April 28, 2016

The following press releases and news reports about China companies were carried on April 28. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.

    • Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) Stumbles in China as Local Phone Makers Head Up-Market (English article)
    • ICBC (HKEx: 1398) Launches First Chinese Credit Cards in US with UnionPay (English article)
    • Alibaba-Disney (NYSE: DIS) Partnership Is Frozen in China After Just 5 Months (English article)
    • Movie Ticket Booking Platform Weiying Shidai Wins 3 Bln Yuan Series C+ Funding (English article)
    • Yintech (Nasdaq: YIN) Falls Flat in US Debut as Chinese Peers Seek De-listing (English article)
    • Latest calendar for Q1 earnings reports (Earnings calendar)


Leisure: Scalpers, Stars Flock to Shanghai Disney Ticket Launch

Bottom line: Disney will face huge challenges in running a smooth opening for its new Shanghai park in June, as it faces potential negative publicity from aggressive ticket scalpers and other glitches associated with such a big event.

Tickets sell out for Shanghai Disney opening day

The official countdown has begun to the June opening of Shanghai Disneyland, in a story that contains both scripted and unscripted moments reflecting what a commotion this event is likely to become. In the scripted category, luminaries including basketball legend Yao Ming and piano superstar Lang Lang attended an event this week kicking off the 80 day countdown to the big opening. In the unscripted column, opening day tickets to the park sold out quickly after going on sale, and were showing up later in the day from scalpers who were asking for twice the price or more.

I was living in Hong Kong just before Disney opened its last theme park there back in 2005. I don’t recall nearly this level of hype before that opening, and certainly not the big issue with scalpers that are an endemic part of the Chinese landscape. But I do recall the numerous glitches that occurred in the months after the Hong Kong park opened, and how media feasted on the negative developments that are almost inevitable when launching a project of such magnitude. Read Full Post…

China News Digest: March 29, 2016

The following press releases and news reports about China companies were carried on March 29. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.

  • Anbang Trumps Marriott (NYSE: MAR), Raises Offer for Starwood (NYSE: HOT) to $14 Bln (English article)
  • China Bank Profits Flat-Line as Bad Debts Continue to Soar (English article)
  • Alibaba’s (NYSE: BABA) Cainiao Logistics Arm Forms Alliances, In Same-Day Delivery Drive (Chinese article)
  • Shanghai Disneyland (NYSE: DIS) Sells Out for Opening Day (English article)
  • Trina (NYSE: TSL) Launches Thailand Facility, Signs $143 Mln Financing Deal (PRNewswire)
  • Latest calendar for Q4 earnings reports (Earnings calendar)

STOCKS: Huayi Fits the Bill as China Hit Maker

Bottom line: Huayi has the potential to become one of China’s leading makers of Hollywood-style film and video, with a strong track record that has helped to attract major partners for a growing string of well-conceived production deals. 

Huayi destined for China stardom?

Two savvy new deals this week are casting a spotlight on fast-rising rising film star Huayi Bros (Shenzhen: 300027), which is fast emerging as China’s most promising independent film-maker that could someday attain Hollywood-level status. Huayi is the lone company in my “favorite Chinese stock” series from China’s Nasdaq-style ChiNext board, which is typically quite volatile and often looks more like a casino than a serious stock exchange.

But despite any volatility in its share price, Huayi has shown an ability to consistently make movies and other entertainment products that get strong audience reception, laying the foundation for strong future growth. The company has become a regular fixture in the headlines, including the 2 new production deals this week that both look quite promising. Read Full Post…

ENTERTAINMENT: Wanda Conglomerate Gets Wilder with Carmike Buy

Bottom line: Wanda Group founder Wang Jianlin and other major Chinese entrepreneurs intent on building wide-ranging conglomerates should look to the western failure of such firms instead focus on their core business areas.

Wanda’s Wang buys Carmike Cinemas

Billionaire deal maker Wang Jianlin was back in the acquisition headlines last week, when his increasingly diverse Wanda empire announced it would buy US-based Carmike Cinemas (Nasdaq: CKEC) as part of it its dream of building the world’s biggest theater chain operator. But theaters are just one of a growing number of items on Wanda’s recent list of mega-projects, which has also included plans for a multibillion-dollar European theme park, a major e-commerce venture, and investments related to sports and its core real estate products and services.

The sudden diversification looks similar to ones by other cash-rich Chinese companies, most notably e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE: BABA), and reflects a desire to move beyond their original businesses into new growth areas. While such a strategy seems logical, western experience has shown that such rapid diversification more often results in dysfunction rather than synergies, and frequently ends with the eventual break-up of such companies into smaller units focused on individual areas of expertise. Read Full Post…

ENTERTAINMENT: Wanda Eyes Disney with $3.3 Bln Europark

Bottom line: Wanda Group’s newly announced 3 billion euro Paris theme park is the latest in a string of its massive new investments, many of which are likely to collapse or get sharply scaled back due to lack of resources.

Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin to builld Paris theme park

Billionaire real estate tycoon Wang Jianlin is growing fond of the “b” word these days, with yet another announcement of a multibillion-dollar investment. This time the Wanda Group chief is announcing plans for a $3.3 billion theme park in Paris that would rival the existing nearby resort owned by Disney (NYSE: DIS), which just happens to be revving up to launch its own first theme park on Wanda’s home turf in China.

If I sound just a little skeptical, it’s because I’m growing increasingly suspicious that Wang has become addicted to making big announcements that may never get completed. This particular deal comes less than 2 months after Wang said he would buy Hollywood film studio Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion. (previous post) Many are also guessing that Wang may bid aggressively for a strategic stake worth $1 billion or more in Hollywood major Paramount Pictures, which announced just last week it is looking for such a partner. (previous postRead Full Post…

ENTERTAINMENT: Shanghai Disneyland Prices Tickets, Battles Scalpers

Bottom line: Shanghai Disneyland’s ticket pricing and proactive efforts to stop scalpers are being well received by media and local Chinese, boding well for a broadly positive launch when the park opens in June.

Shanghai Disneyland prices tickets

It’s still 4 months until Shanghai Disneyland (NYSE: DIS) formally opens its doors to the public, but already the park operator is fixating on its entrance tickets that are almost certain to become a hot commodity when they start hitting the market next month. The announcement of pricing for Shanghai Disneyland tickets, which was quickly followed by measures the company is taking to avoid scalpers, are part of a barrage of hype that will only accelerate as the park charges towards its opening date in mid June.

I’m usually a bit cynical about this kind of thing, since companies like Disney are masters at creating news just to keep their names in the headlines ahead of a big event, even if there’s no real news to report. But in this case the opening of the Shanghai Disneyland really does seem worthy of the buzz, since the new park marks a major milestone for both China and Disney itself.  Read Full Post…