The Mouse is roaring in China. On Tuesday, The Walt Disney Company announced it had entered a partnership with the culture ministry and Chinese internet giant Tencent to develop the country’s animation business. Today, it has emerged that Shanghai Shendi Group, the operator of Disney’s planned Shanghai Disneyland, has secured a $2 billion loan for construction of the park.
The loan deal for the new Disneyland was signed on Tuesday and falls under a framework that Shendi agreed to in May with 12 banks including China Development Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and the Bank of Communications, according to ShanghaiDaily.com. (A groundbreaking ceremony for the resort was held in April last year.) Shanghai Shendi Group vice president Shao Xiaoyun said the project will receive two syndicated loans with plans to develop the theme park as well as a tourism district in the surrounding area to be known as the Shanghai International Tourism Zone. The second phase of the loan will go towards an estimated $714 million cost to build the tourism area, according to ShanghaiDaily. The total cost of the park is estimated at $3.9 billion, according to Reuters.
The new Disney progress follows a February announcement by DreamWorks Animation which said it was forming Oriental DreamWorks, a joint venture with China Media Capital to develop and produce original Chinese live-action and animated content for the local and global markets. That deal also has a potential theme park component. NBC Universal is also understood to have held preliminary talks on a joint venture to build a theme park in the port city of Tianjin.