After years of anticipation and speculation, the Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday received approval from the Chinese government to build a multibillion-dollar theme park in the Pudong district of Shanghai.

In January, Disney confirmed that it had been working with the Shanghai government on a joint application, which was then submitted to the Chinese central government for review. The nod from the central government was given in late October.

"Upon completion of the final agreement, the project's initial phase would include a Magic Kingdom-style theme park with characteristics tailored to the Shanghai region and other amenities consistent with Disney's destination resorts worldwide," Disney said in a statement.

No timeline or additional details about the Shanghai park have been released. But the project is expected to be one of the largest-ever foreign investments in China, with an estimated price tag of between $3.5 billion and $4 billion, according to news reports.

The Shanghai project will be the second Disney park in China, though it will be the first on the mainland. Hong Kong Disneyland, a joint venture of the Walt Disney Co. and the Hong Kong government, opened on Lantau Island on Sept. 12, 2005.


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