Mickey Mouse 1 – Wanda 0 – China’s latest business and technology news

Business & Technology

A summary of the top news in Chinese business and technology for July 10, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

FILE PHOTO: An Apple logo hangs above the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City, July 21, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

The multibillionaire founder of Dalian Wanda Group Wang Jianlin 王健林 once vowed to crush Disney’s theme parks in China by building scores of resort complexes around the country. But it seems the Mouse has won: Wanda plans to sell most of its tourism businesses in China, including theme parks.

Reuters says Wanda will “offload 91 percent of thirteen cultural tourism projects, which usually include theme parks and leisure complexes, and 76 hotels to the acquisitive Tianjin-based developer Sunac for 63.18 billion yuan.”  

Variety offers five possible reasons for the sale, including a reduction of the (possibly massive) debt incurred during Wanda’s global spending spree over the last few years, avoidance of the growing regulatory scrutiny in China, and competition from Disney. There have been no signs — yet — that Wanda intends to retreat from its significant investments in movie theaters and Hollywood production companies.