French multimedia and publishing group Media-Participations has announced plans to build up to six theme parks in China over the next five years.
Media-Participations has partnered Dragon Deity Capital on the project. The planned location of the first theme park is Shanghai. The amount of investment and details of the partnership were not disclosed.
“What differentiates our theme parks from the others is that we will incorporate advanced technologies, family-oriented concepts and many famous comic characters,” Vincent Montagne, chairman of Media-Participations, told Chinese media.
Media-Participations is one of the largest publishing companies in France. It has more than 40 publishers in its portfolio, including Dupuis, Dargaud, Le Lombard and Fleurus.
Asia is the fastest growing theme park market and China is expected to surpass the US in visitor numbers by 2020. In 2016, the country’s theme parks attracted 200 million visitors.
Disney launched its Shanghai resort in 2016 while Comcast is constructing a $7bn Universal Studios theme park in Beijing. Regional park operator Six Flags wants to open as many as 10 theme parks in China in as many years.
A report by the Themed Entertainment Association shows that, out of the 20 most popular Asian theme parks, 13 are in China. The report added that newly opened theme parks are showing strong competitive power against Shanghai Disney Resort.