Report of Wuhan-Disney talks fake, says media

Visitors wearing protective masks walk at Walt Disney Co's Disneyland Resort during its reopening in Hong Kong, China, on April 21, 2022. - Bloomberg

SHANGHAI: A report that the Chinese city of Wuhan was in talks with Walt Disney Co over a potential project is fake, the Chinese official media says, citing the company.

The central province of Hubei deleted a statement from its official account on the WeChat social media platform that had said the commerce bureau of Wuhan, the provincial capital, had started initial talks with Disney on starting a project there.

The state-backed Shanghai Securities News cited Murray King, vice-president of public affairs and communications at Shanghai Disney Resort, as saying reports of talks with Wuhan were “fake news”.

Disney did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

The Hubei and Wuhan governments did not respond to calls outside business hours.

Several Chinese cities have been on a drive to engage with foreign investors since the start of the year after the country lifted its harsh Covid-19 restrictions.

Covid was first detected in Wuhan in late 2019.

Disney opened the US$5.5bil (RM25.1bil) Shanghai Disney Resort in 2016.

The resort in China’s financial hub had over 11 million visitors in its debut year, though figures were hit during the pandemic.

According to reports, China’s post-Covid recovery looks shaky.

After the initial release of pent-up demand, economic data for April fell short of expectations, it has been reported.

In response, China’s stocks faltered, yields on government bonds fell and the currency declined.

The country’s trade-weighted exchange rate is now as weak as it was in November, when officials were locking down cities.

All eyes are on the data for May now, hoping it will look better. — Reuters

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