Wang Jianlin, the founder of Dalian Wanda Group has started a feud with Disney (NYSE:DIS), and more specifically targeting Disney’s $5.5 billion investment in the Shanghai Disneyland opening this June. Understandable, since the Wanda Group is also in the amusement park business.
In an interview With CCTV Wang said, “The frenzy of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and the era of blindly following them have passed. They are entirely cloning previous IP, cloning previous products, with no more innovation,”
There is a reason for Wang to worry. Chinese real estate giant Wanda Group has been investing heavily in theme parks globally, and Mickey Mouse is a threat. Disney expects about 10 million visits a year to the Shanghai park, which is strategically located about three hours driving for more than 300 million Chinese.
Wang continued his attack by saying, “They shouldn’t have entered China. We have a saying: one tiger is no match for a pack of wolves. Shanghai has one Disney, while Wanda, across the nation, will open 15 to 20.”
Wang Jianlin can’t be blamed for picking needless fights like this one, how else he going to get free publicity for his parks?