Developers in China are commemorating the late Michael Jackson by building a scaled-down replica of his Neverland Ranch on Chongming Island off Shanghai, The China Daily said on Friday.
Investors in the project, which will cost about 100 million yuan to build, hope to have it open as early as next year.
The late Michael Jackson purchased Sycamore Ranch in Santa Barbara, California in 1988. He later renamed the fantasy land Neverland Ranch and filled it with theme-park rides and even a zoo.
“By building a Neverland here in China, we want to pay tribute to him and at the same time offer the Chinese people an outlet for expressing their love towards him,” says Qiu Xuefan, one of the investors in the new Neverland project.
The Shanghai version will have “Chinese characteristics to have it blend in with the local environment,” the paper added.
But not everyone is convinced a Chinese Neverland attraction is a good idea.
“If the purpose is simply to pay tribute to Michael, I would suggest investors open it for free, just as Michael did for the children,” said Wei Wei, deputy head of Jackson’s fan club in China. “Otherwise, they are just making money from it.”