Walt Disney Co and the Shanghai government on Monday both denied a media report that a planned Disneyland project in Shanghai has obtained central government approval.
Hong Kong's Wen Wei Po reported on Saturday that a Disneyland park would open as early as in 2012 in the eastern Chuansha district of Shanghai.
The Shanghai Disney Park, the first on the mainland and the third in Asia after Tokyo and Hong Kong, would be eight times as large as the Hong Kong one, and will cost a total of 40 billion yuan ($5.8 billion), the Beijing-backed newspaper said.
"The project still needs central government approval and Shanghai will obey Beijing's decision," Shanghai spokesman Chen Qiwei said, adding he will make new inquiries on this to relevant departments.
Disney also denied the report. "There is no agreement and there is no deal," Disney spokeswoman Alannah Hall-Smith said in an e-mailed statement.
Disney has been in talks with China for about a decade to build a Disneyland in Shanghai, with an original goal of opening ahead of the Shanghai World Expo in 2010.
In March, Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng said the city had applied to the National Development and Reform Commission to build a park.