(Yicai Global) March 6 -- Media-Participations SA, Europe's largest comic book publisher, plans to extend its reach into China by developing theme parks in partnership with Shanghai Dragon Deity Capital.
The pair will build five to six Dragon Deity International Village projects in China over the next five years, the Brussels-based firm said in a statement. The companies hope to build the first joint park in Shanghai's Songjiang district.
China's theme park sector is on track to become the world's largest by 2020, state-backed China News Service reported in November, quoting estimates from consultancy Euromonitor International. Retail sales are set to reach CNY12 billion (USD1.9 billion) a year with daily average visitor numbers topping 330 million.
Disney and Hello Kitty are among a bunch of international theme park brands that are settling in China, and domestic operators Happy Valley and Dinosaur Land are also gaining traction as the Chinese market rapidly expands.
Media-Participations has 80 years of experience in publishing comic books and has produced more than 4,000 cartoon characters, over 10,000 comic books, and 2,500 hours of animated video.