Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Hong Kong officials challenge Disney deal

Hong Kong officials challenge Disney deal

Lawmakers yesterday questioned The Walt Disney Co.'s 20-year option to buy a 54-hectare site near Hong Kong Disneyland, saying the government should consider letting other theme parks use the land.
"From Hong Kong's standpoint, it doesn't necessarily have to be Disneyland. Other than Disneyland, there are many other theme parks popular in the world," opposition lawmaker Sin Chung-kai said at a legislative hearing on Hong Kong Disneyland, due to open September 12.
Disney has the first claim to the site up to 2019. The option can be extended up to 10 years if visitor numbers hit 8 million.
Defending the arrangement
Commissioner for Tourism Eva Cheng defended the arrangement, saying it was necessary to secure the Disney deal.
"If Disney knew there would be a different theme park nearby, it would have affected Disney's decision to build Hong Kong Disneyland at the time. This is fair," she said.
She said the government hopes to launch talks with Disney on exercising its land option soon.
However, Hong Kong media last year quoted Financial Secretary Henry Tang as saying that the government has approached three other U.S. theme park companies about coming to Hong Kong - Six Flags Inc., Universal Studios, and Warner Bros. Studios - a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.
Joint venture
The 125-hectare Hong Kong Disneyland is a joint venture between Disney and the Hong Kong government, but local taxpayers are footing most of its US$3.5 billion price tag. Critics have questioned whether Hong Kong got a good deal.
Cheng said the government will test the park and its transportation infrastructure ahead of the scheduled opening by inviting tour operators and Hong Kong residents to visit.
Separately, government engineering official Yip Sai-chor told lawmakers the government has nearly finished processing 30,000 cubic meters of toxic mud from a shipyard cleared for Disneyland's construction. The waste was treated at an island off Hong Kong, prompting at least one protest.


Updated : 2021-10-26 14:51 GMT+08:00