SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co. is awaiting approval from China's central government to build a theme park in Shanghai, the China Daily reported on Saturday.
Shanghai's mayor in March said the city was eager to host Disney, after the $1.8 billion Disneyland Hong Kong opened in 2005, while China's capital city Beijing also wants one.
Disney has been in discussions with Shanghai officials for a long time, group chairman George Mitchell told the China Daily, and talks are now under way between the Shanghai municipal government and the State Council, which has the final say. "Our discussions have been with Shanghai officials, and now they are engaging with the national officials," the paper cited Mitchell as saying.
"We have an interest in proceeding and we hope that satisfactory terms can be worked out and we can proceed." He did not give a time-frame for a final deal or opening.
"We try to proceed as quickly as possible after the execution of the contract, but until we execute a contract we don't get into when we are going to start," the paper cited Mitchell as saying. Disney and Shanghai are believed to want to open the park in time for Shanghai's World Expo in 2010. City government preparations for the Expo rival in scale and enthusiasm Beijing's preparations for the 2008 Olympics.