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Dalian Wanda Group Co. announced its second $15 billion development project in a week as Chairman Wang Jianlin steps up his efforts to surpass Walt Disney Co. as the world’s largest tourism company by the end of the decade.
The Beijing-based conglomerate signed an agreement with China’s Shaanxi provincial government to pour 103 billion yuan ($15 billion) in investments to build theme parks and commercial centers there, including a Wanda City complex in the capital Xi’an, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. Last week, Wanda announced a similar project in China’s central Hunan province.
Wanda plans to have 15 Wanda City projects across China by 2020, betting on strength in numbers to become the biggest Chinese theme parks operator amid rising competition from overseas. The $5.5 billion Shanghai Disneyland, which opened in June, attracted four million visitors in its first four months and the company expects it to be close to breaking even in its first full year of operations.
In Shaanxi, projects will include the construction of 19 Wanda Plaza shopping malls across 10 cities in the province, according to Wanda.
Yet the centerpiece will be the company’s signature Wanda City complex, which will involve about 50 billion yuan in investments in the city that’s home to nation’s treasured Terracotta Army. Besides in Xi’an and Changsha, Wang opened two Wanda City projects this year in Hefei and Nanchang. The tycoon also plans to open five of the complexes overseas.
©2016 Bloomberg L.P.
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