Shanghai to shut polluting factories for Disney park

Shanghai to shut polluting factories for Disney park

SHANGHAI - China's commercial hub Shanghai plans to shut 153 polluting and inefficient companies near Disney's planned theme park to help improve the surrounding environment, according to a local government statement.

The government will close the industrial firms - described as "high polluting, high consumption and low efficiency" - by the end of 2016 to "welcome" the opening of the Disney park, due early in the year, Shanghai's economic agency said on its website.

The 153 companies are mainly in the machinery, chemical and textile industries, it said, and are in the Zhoupu area, near the Disney park.

Disney has pushed back the opening of the $5.5 billion (S$7.8 bilion) park, which broke ground in April 2011 and was due this year, to 2016.

In July, Disney unveiled details of the planned park, promising Chinese features and new attractions not found in its five other resorts.

The government plans to redevelop the companies' current sites as part of a "beautiful countryside" initiative to promote agriculture-related tourism, the statement said.

It gave no indication of the cost of the move, or the number of company employees affected.

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