Universal Studios considering Chinese theme park, competition for Hong Kong Disneyland

Monday, December 10th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HONG KONG (AP) _ Universal Studios is considering construction of a theme park in southern China that would compete with a Disneyland set to open in Hong Kong in 2005, executives said Monday.

Officials in the border city of Shenzhen have been in talks with Universal Studios for almost a year, said Zhang Yuhua, a marketing executive at the Shenzhen Tourism Bureau.

``The Shenzhen Municipal government attaches a lot of importance to this project,'' Zhang said by telephone.

The Shenzhen-Hong Kong border has seen an explosion of traffic since Britain returned Hong Kong to China in July 1997.

Universal Studios in Los Angeles confirmed it was considering a park in southern China as part of its exploration for new sites worldwide.

Universal Studios currently operates theme parks in Florida, California, Japan and Spain.

When Hong Kong Disneyland opens, Disney executives and Hong Kong tourism officials have said they hope to draw some business from mainland Chinese visitors.