Outside Shanghai, Games of Cat and Mouse
A month after ground was broken on the long-anticipated Shanghai Disneyland, Japanese company Sanrio has announced that the first Hello Kitty theme park outside Japan is to begin construction in Zhejiang later this year. Only time will tell whether the two parks can peacefully coexist. From the AFP:
The project, jointly designed by Sanrio and US-based amusement park designer Hettema, will cost $215 million, with construction expected to start in the second half of this year and completed in 2014, it said.
The complex will cover an area of 60 hectares (150 acres) that includes a theme park, hotel and catering services.
Liao Chunrong, president of Shanghai Insight Holdings, said a subsidiary of the company will take care of investment and management of the project, according to Xinhua.
Sanrio will license the use of its Hello Kitty characters to a closely held company in Zhejiang that plans to open a 95,000-sq.-meter theme park in 2014, Hideo Yamaguchi, a Sanrio spokesman, said over telephone.
“The potential for growth is in Asia,” he said. “This agreement means a lot for Sanrio, as it will broaden our licensing business.”