Malaysian company Lion Group – which controls Parkson Retail Group – said it will invest in Hong Kong director Stanley Tong's project to build a 'Chinese Hollywood' in Kunming, according to a Bloomberg report citing a statement by China International Media Group, where Tong serves as director.
Details surrounding the project, first announced in Chinese media in February, are slowly beginning to emerge. The film studio and theme park will be called 'Dream City' and will take five years to complete. All told, the project is projected to involve 17 billion yuan (US$2.4 billion) in investment.
The Bloomberg report said the 3 billion yuan bill for the project's first phase will be picked up by the Lion Group, whose Chairman and CEO William Cheng was ranked the 10th richest Malaysian in 2007 with an estimated net worth of US$650 million. Cheng said the project may end up listing on a stock exchange.
"I've researched the cultural industry in China and I believe we are lacking a proper logistics platform" Cheng told Bloomberg in reference to the current state China's film production capabilities.
In addition to the Lion Group's investment, China International Media Group and the Kunming municipal government will contribute to financing Dream City. The project is expected to feature a film studio, amusement park, hotels and golf courses – as well as a film school jointly established by Peking University and Beijing Film Academy.