Disney has announced that it has received clearance from the Chinese government to complete a deal to build a Disneyland resort in Shanghai.
The approval of Disney's Project Application Report removes one of the final bureaucratic hurdles for the project, allowing Disney to strike a deal with Chinese partners to fund the construction of the park. However, construction is still some way off with the resort unlikely to be operating before 2014.
The news follows extensive talks which have stretched on for around a decade. Shanghai Disneyland will be Disney's fourth park outside of the US, after Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland.
Disney insists Shanghai Disneyland will not compete with the Hong Kong resort, which is expected to continue to attract customers from southern China. However, the Chinese government's approval may not be seen as good news for Hong Kong Disneyland, which has underperformed expectations since opening in 2005. Hong Kong's government recently agreed a plan to spend nearly $500 million on an expansion for the park.
Shanghai Disneyland is likely to cost over $3.5 billion and will cover over 1000 acres. Disney will put up around 40% of the required funds, with Chinese investors providing the rest.