China approves $3.3 billion Universal theme park in Beijing

BEIJING – China has approved the development of a $3.3 billion Universal theme park in Beijing that would be the first major foreign-owned theme park in the Chinese capital.

The U.S. company Comcast NBCUniversal and a consortium of four Chinese state-owned companies announced the plan Monday, saying the park will be developed on about 300 acres (120 hectares) in eastern Beijing.

They said the Beijing park will include attractions from other Universal parks as well as new ones reflecting China’s cultural heritage.

The complex will eventually cover about 1,000 acres (405 hectares) and feature a Universal CityWalk entertainment zone and a Universal-themed resort hotel. It will be the third Universal park in Asia, with the others in Singapore and Osaka, Japan.

The developers said they were not ready to announce a timeframe for completing the park.

China’s growing consumer market has proved fertile ground for U.S. companies looking to expand theme park franchises. Disney has opened one park in Hong Kong and is building another one in Shanghai. In June, Six Flags announced plans to build six parks in China over the next decade.

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