Feb 17, 2007, 2:31 PM
Kwun Tong 223
Feb 17, 2007, 2:59 PM
Another arch in HK.
That one looks good.
Feb 26, 2007, 4:12 AM
Disney's magic in China is mixed
Disneyland's entry into Hong Kong has hit cultural bumps.
By Craig Simons
Sunday, February 18, 2007
HONG KONG — Before Walt Disney Co. opened its theme park here two years ago, planners carefully considered local customs.
Disney officials brought in a master in the traditional Chinese art of feng shui to "maximize energy and guest flow," convinced actor Jackie Chan to paint eyes on a lion costume — a Chinese symbol for luck — and tested local specialties for restaurants at the park.
Yet despite efforts to adapt to Chinese culture, the meeting of the Magic and Middle Kingdoms quickly turned rocky.
An array of critics accused Disney of endangering the environment, disregarding local customs and unfairly profiting from the joint venture in the Hong Kong theme park.
Disney has repair work ahead as it seeks to expand its media and merchandising businesses in China and looks at the possibility of building an even larger theme park near Shanghai.
For Western companies, Disney's challenges highlight the difficulties international brands face as they try to tap China's lucrative and growing market.
Although there is strong support in Hong Kong for the Disneyland park overall, "management has had some settling-in problems," said John Ap, a theme park expert at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
"From Disney's perspective, they'll want to sort out the mainland market before they go into Shanghai," he said.
Disney has been considering building a theme park in Shanghai since the 1990s, when Hong Kong beat that city in a competitive bidding war. Although no decision has been made on a Shanghai park, the company "continues to explore possibilities in China," Disney spokeswoman Lisa Haines said.
A report last year by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP estimated that theme parks in China, excluding Hong Kong, will generate $1.8 billion in 2010, up from $1.3 billion in 2005.
A theme park in Shanghai also would boost sales of Disney branded products and movies, Haines said.
"Our research has found that Disney parks help to increase the overall awareness of the Disney brand," she said. "There is good synergy between other Disney products and our parks."
Although Disney does not release specific financial information, it has invested heavily to expand its presence in China.
Disney is working to popularize its characters in China by promoting its movies and television shows. China Central Television will begin showing Disney cartoon "Lilo and Stitch" this summer, and Disney will release its first film adaptation of a Chinese novel, a co-production with two Chinese companies, this summer.
The number of stores in China carrying Disney merchandise has more than doubled since 2005, and management plans to sell branded goods at 6,000 stores by 2009.
Last year, Disney signed an agreement with Chinese company Shanda Interactive Entertainment to develop an online game featuring Disney characters, part of a corporate strategy to expand market presence, said Stanley Cheung, managing director of Disney's China office.
"China is a priority for the entire company," Cheung said in a company news release.
The emphasis on building the mainland market has magnified the significance of problems at Hong Kong Disneyland. The problems raise concerns about whether Disney management will meet even greater resistance on the mainland, where cultural differences are more pronounced.
Last year, roughly 29 percent of Disney's revenue came from its 11 theme parks, which together generated $9.9 billion in revenue. Attendance at Hong Kong Disneyland during its first year was 5.2 million, slightly less than the company's target of 5.6 million.
A Hong Kong group picketed the park's opening and one-year anniversary, arguing among other things that Disney had done too little to incorporate China's cultural legacy.
Environmental groups condemned a decision by Disney to offer shark's fin soup in its restaurants.
More important, average citizens were angered by what they perceived as an unfair deal between the Hong Kong government, which paid for most of the project, and Disney, which received an oversized portion of its shares, Ap said.
The Hong Kong government, which hopes the park will attract tourists to the city for many years, has spent more than $2.9 billion on the project and infrastructure improvements, about 82 percent of total costs, while Disney received 43 percent of the joint venture shares.
A survey conducted by Ap last year found that 56 percent of Hong Kong residents thought the financial deal with Disney was unfair while 70 percent said their "opinions toward Hong Kong Disneyland have become more negative" because of problems since its opening, including several overbooked days during last year's Chinese New Year.
Since the survey was taken Disney has expanded the park and addressed ticketing problems, and local support might now be greater than it was a year ago, Haines said.
For mainland Chinese who visit the park, many of whom don't speak English, a lack of cultural relevance may be more damaging. Some of the shows and rides at Hong Kong Disneyland are presented only in English, and many older Chinese do not recognize Disney characters.
"Younger Chinese like Mickey Mouse, but they should include traditional Chinese culture for adults," said Zhu Yuan, a 64-year-old retired professor visiting Hong Kong Disneyland from China's northeastern Tianjin City.
While she enjoyed "Main Street USA" — a line of shops and restaurants built to look like the Missouri town where Walt Disney grew up — "I'd rather go to a park that has a Chinese town," she said.
But Wang Tingmei, 54, a businessman from China's northwestern Heilongjiang province, said that a park would do well even if it simply copied American versions.
"The rides are good and they manage the park better than Chinese theme parks," he said, "so people will go."
But Disney must also balance keeping Chinese customers happy with maintaining its international reputation, a problem highlighted by management indecision over whether to serve shark's fin soup.
When environmental groups first protested Disney's plan to serve shark's fin at wedding banquets, saying that shark species are threatened because of China's appetite for their fins, Disney said it would offer the food to be respectful of Chinese culture and would ensure that all fins came from legal harvests.
But after increasing pressure, Disney replaced the dish with lobster bisque.
Because many Chinese consider shark's fin soup a delicacy, Disney may have lost business by pulling it from menus, Ap said.
"If shark's fin is not served at a banquet, many Chinese believe their hosts are cheap," he said.
The culture clash was reminiscent of protests in France when Disney opened Euro Disney, later renamed Disneyland Resort Paris, in 1992. Among other things, some French were upset by Disney's decision not to serve wine, a staple of French culture, and in 1993 Disney added alcohol to its menus. Today the park is Europe's top tourist destination, last year attracting 12.8 million visitors.
Some Hong Kong residents have been angered that Disney has not included more local culture in the park.
"Disney did nothing to incorporate Chinese and Hong Kong culture and values," said Lee Wing-yin, the 24-year-old organizer of Disney Hunter, a small group of Hong Kong residents who opposed the theme park's construction.
"It was really a very big investment and the Hong Kong government could have attracted more tourists if they built a park that highlighted traditional Chinese values and the heritage of Hong Kong," she said.
If Disney does stumble over cultural hurdles in mainland China, it will not be the first foreign company to do so.
In 2004, Beijing banned a Nike television advertisement showing NBA star LeBron James defeating a dragon, a traditional symbol of the Chinese state, for failing to "respect the motherland's culture."
In 2003, Toyota pulled a print ad showing two stone lions, emblems of Chinese culture, saluting a Prado sport-utility vehicle. Chinese erupted in anger at what they perceived as cultural arrogance.
"If Western companies don't understand Chinese culture, they risk losing customers," said Fan Yezhong, a tourism development expert at Beijing's China Tourism Development Institute.
At Hong Kong Disneyland, mainland visitors were upbeat that a Disney park would succeed in Shanghai.
Ling Wu, 35, agreed that a Disney park would attract Chinese visitors but said management should make Chinese the primary language and include more elements of Chinese culture.
"Otherwise, how are we supposed to understand?" he asked.
Mar 25, 2007, 11:55 AM
Hanoi Road is finally shedding its scaffolding :
Mar 28, 2007, 12:52 PM
4 contenders for the new government HQs (at the former Tamar site):
Mar 28, 2007, 5:35 PM
WOW it's hard to choose! I really like the arch with the purple thing in A. I don't really like B. C is amazing!!!! and D has a really nice design for the waterfront.
Apr 14, 2007, 2:35 AM
Apr 16, 2007, 3:27 AM
C. is my favorite. So all this greenspace is going to be on new reclaimed land? It will be nice for HK to have a usable waterfront. I also remember a plan to relocate part of a freeway in Causeway Bay to open up some waterfront.
Apr 19, 2007, 3:54 PM
Apr 19, 2007, 4:10 PM
It dominates TST magnificently.
Thanks for the update !
May 1, 2007, 4:55 PM
Hanoi Road redevelopment - May 1
May 6, 2007, 8:09 AM
Megabox - May 1
I'm still not seduced by the Megabox. Hanoi Road, on the other hand, is an exceptional addition to TST. I can't wait to see it completed.
May 12, 2007, 7:22 AM
May 12, 2007, 1:10 PM
A refurbished early-century apartment is preserved as part of the project
May 13, 2007, 6:08 PM
The HK style reinvented.
May 17, 2007, 1:23 PM
One East Island, by Itarilde :
May 18, 2007, 6:00 AM
What on earth is the brown sliver of a building there!?
May 30, 2007, 4:08 PM
Circular LED display
Jun 26, 2007, 2:33 PM
Hanoi Road redevelopment - June 23 :)
Sep 23, 2007, 5:54 AM
Sep 23, 2007, 6:29 AM
What a great picture.
Oct 24, 2007, 7:55 PM
Update by hkskyline
Oct 31, 2007, 4:14 AM
That Hanoi Road building is hideous - straight out of the 70's. I didn't think humanity was capable of producing something so repulsive.
That Hanoi Road building is hideous -
Hideous is OK.
It's the epitome of TST.
Nov 3, 2007, 3:36 AM
Nov 3, 2007, 3:38 AM
Reclaiming the harbour :
^This is going to be a wonderful place for visitors - if it's done well and if the pollution problem doesn't get worse.
Nov 4, 2007, 3:27 PM
Kwun Tong 223
Nov 14, 2007, 12:25 PM
^One Island East, by hkskyline
Nov 14, 2007, 3:22 PM
Nov 18, 2007, 5:49 AM
Nov 18, 2007, 7:58 PM
Jan 6, 2008, 10:27 AM
Development at KCTL215, Kwai Chung (Phase 1)
Jan 13, 2008, 2:19 AM
Jan 13, 2008, 2:29 AM
Jan 28, 2008, 2:32 PM
Photo by kalvin1994
Jan 28, 2008, 2:44 PM
Great shots. Wow just wow...
Superb shot, by Car L
Feb 11, 2008, 9:19 PM
Fabb its very amazing pictures:)
Feb 20, 2008, 7:49 PM
Nice update pictures everyone. HK is totally cool.
Feb 20, 2008, 8:13 PM
Photo by kalvin1994
OOOOOOhhhhhhhhhhhh..... That's pretty.
Mar 19, 2008, 5:15 PM
Hanoi Road and One East Island, by fatshe :
Mar 20, 2008, 5:10 AM
This city is looking more and more spectacular by the day.
I so need to go.
Mar 22, 2008, 8:28 PM
Great looking skyline.
Apr 29, 2008, 4:37 AM
Can we get a list of all the projects in the first post?
It's annoying having to look for everything. And I think it's a requirement to have a list anyways.
May 1, 2008, 10:38 AM
There are too many projects happening. We only post updates of a select few here.
May 4, 2008, 6:34 AM
Chicago has many projects and it shows a lot of them.
Maybe make it like 20 floors+ or 30 floors+.
Jun 15, 2008, 4:32 PM
Projects in TST :
Source : ENDOPHINS
Source : planning department
Oct 4, 2008, 5:50 AM
No posts in this thread for over three months? Long vacation!
Anyway, three recent pics of the new city hall under construction. Photos taken through the golden glass of the Far East Asia Building:
That used to be a parking lot if I'm mot mistaken.
I'm glad something worth of the location is going to be built.
Oct 4, 2008, 6:55 AM
For sure it's reclaimed land, from 1980s I think? Wasn't this the quay for the Royal Navy as well? I think this is why it never got developed. The new Chinese Army HQ is just to the left. I think they finally did give up their waterfront for the now ongoing reclamation, the new promenade, and this project.
Anyway, for the last few years the big open space has been an amusement park.
Jan 5, 2009, 3:17 PM
Another sky slab along Kowloon Bay waterside
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.