July 1, 2017 6:54 am JST

Wanda opens indoor ski park in northeastern China

Chairman keeps mum on credit concerns

DAISUKE HARASHIMA, Nikkei staff writer

The Dalian Wanda Group's new theme park in Heilongjiang Province, with the indoor ski slope seen on the left.

HARBIN, China -- Dalian Wanda Group officially opened an indoor ski resort here Friday amid reports that the central government has ordered banks to evaluate their exposure to the key property developer.

In addition to an indoor ski slope, the 80-hectare Harbin Wanda City complex also boasts an amusement park as well as retail and hotel facilities. The project cost a total of 20 billion yuan ($2.95 billion).

Each of the company's six domestic theme parks is tailored to its surroundings. The Harbin complex was inspired by Russia, which has close ties to northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province, where it is located. Wanda aims to have 15 such operations by 2020.

Chairman Wang Jianlin said he wanted to turn Wanda City into a leading international brand and make Harbin a global tourist destination. He did not comment on the reported government directive. Wang's appearance was likely aimed at dispelling rumors that he may be detained soon.

But no top provincial officials, such as the Communist Party secretary or governor, attended Friday's ribbon-cutting ceremony. Their conspicuous absence, rare for a project of this size, bodes ill for the company's outlook.

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