One definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect the results to change. The Walt Disney Company, the folks behind Disneyland and Disney movies and TV, has had a tough time in China, but it’s come back for more.
The Cultural Revolution did not televise Mickey and Goofy. Beijing limits movie imports, so the little princes barely know The Lion King, and today there’s still no Disney television channel in mainland China. Hong Kong Disneyland, opened in 2005, has been a US$3 billion disappointment.
Despite the difficulties, Disney is doubling down on China. The company known as The Mouse is building a US$4.4 billion theme park and resort in Shanghai, while Hong Kong Disneyland will get a US$465 million expansion. As reported in Asia Times, these big ticket items are just a small end of an invigorated China strategy for the world’s largest media group.
Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, financial crisis, and cheap lingerie. See his biography, online archive and more at www.muhammadcohen.com.