October 14, 2004

You are on the invidual archive page of Guangxi. Click Simon World weblog for the main page.

What does Mickey Mouse, American tax law, pollution, America's standing in Asia and Feng Shui all have in common? They are crammed into this NYT article on HongKong Disneyland. They can't help themselves:

As Disney prepares to open the park with the broadcast on Thursday of the first television ads in Shanghai, there are some signs of growing anti-American sentiment here. A survey of nine Asian countries and territories released on Monday found that 47 percent of residents here held a negative opinion of the United States, second only to Indonesia. Gallup and TNS, a market information company, conducted the survey.

The survey found that the poor opinion here had been shaped mainly by American foreign policy, however, with residents still holding a much higher opinion of the American economy. Eden Woon, the chief executive of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, which played host to Mr. Iger's speech, said that he saw very little chance of any anti-American protests here and doubted that any such sentiments here would hurt Hong Kong Disneyland. "China always is conflicted between accepting foreign things and trying to maintain its own culture," he said.

Many prosperous residents here pursued various stratagems to obtain American passports before Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997. Jeffrey K. F. Lam, a member of the Legislative Council here who attended Mr. Iger's speech, said that some were now renouncing their American citizenship.

Interesting how turning in passports is framed as Hong Kongers being digusted with America, when the truth is actually very different.
But he said this was mostly to avoid paying American taxes in addition to Hong Kong taxes, and because of renewed confidence in Hong Kong's future, not because of hostility to the United States.
What does annoy HKers is that the Government has subsidised Disney to the tune of more than US$4 billion. The article mentions US$2.88 billion but that excludes the various transportation and infrastructure works the Governmetn is also subsidising. And Mike Rowse, who negotiated the contract, forgot a tiny little detail: that Disney might also want to open another in mainland China, likely Shanghai. Incredibly they did not include a clause restricting Disney from opening another park within greater China.

It's good to know that Disney changed the orientation of the park a few degrees to enhance the feng shui. It is also good to know the site was chosen to take advantage of the HK vista...except now pollution from Guandong is going to obscure that view. Perhaps if the HK Government ploughed some of their money into working towards cleaner air, they'd be doing something that both Disney and the people of Hong Kong can benefit from.

posted by Simon on 10.14.04 at 10:33 AM in the


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Ocean Park versus Disneyland
Excerpt: This summary at Simon World of this New York Times article on Hong Kong's Disneyland from 13 Oct. got me thinking about this article in SCMP about Ocean Park wanting similar government funding to Disneyland from 11 Oct. Next month, Tom Mehrmann will pres
Weblog: Daai Tou Laam Diary
Tracked: October 16, 2004 06:13 PM


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