Hong Kong not going to Disneyland

Jocelyn Ford Sep 12, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: Hong Kong Disneyland threw a party today to celebrate its anniversary, but Mickey and Goofy had to stand out in the pouring rain. It’s kind of symbolic of the way this first year has gone. Jocelyn Ford reports.

JOCELYN FORD: Mickey’s magical kingdom has gotten a bum rap in mainland China.

Local newspapers warn visitors it’s too small, too expensive, and there are long lines.

Disney has also had troubles introducing its characters to Chinese consumers. Around the time the park opened, Disney had been hoping to get a license for a cable channel, but that didn’t happen.

Paul French is a Shanghai-based business consultant.

PAUL FRENCH: The media regulators took a decision that they didn’t want to increase the amount of foreign programming, and in particular cartoons. So Disney didn’t get their cable channel.

But there are other signs Disney is marching into China. Nowadays in many smaller cities, you can buy pirated Mickey products, like kiddy back packs. If Mickey weren’t popular, no one would bother to rip him off.

In Beijing, I’m Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.