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  • 04.08.2017

    Debt-Ridden Chinese Giant Now a Shadow of Its Former Size

    • Description

      WUHAN, China — The Han Show here in central China was supposed to turn the city of Wuhan into a leading tourist destination, with a dazzling spectacle of lights, water jets and acrobats by the former creative director of Cirque du Soleil. But the custom-built 2,000-seat theater is seldom even half full despite deeply discounted tickets.

      Nearby stands an enormous, elegant building, with yellow undulating walls reminiscent of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. The complex, which housed motion-simulator rides meant to instill a love of Chinese films, closed a year ago for lack of visitors.

      The Wanda Reign Hotel was supposed to be the first “seven star” luxury hotel in central China, with towering reception walls clad in jade. Now rooms rent for $160 a night, a cut-rate price at which the hotel still struggles to find takers.

      The buildings here are among the few left in the once vast collection of the Dalian Wanda Group — a high-priced reminder of the rapidly changing fortunes of many Chinese conglomerates.


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