Beijing Shibo Real Estate, a Chinese property developer, is bringing Broadway to Beijing, by developing a row of 32 theaters in Haidian district.
The theaters will present well-established western shows and musicals. Many of the shows will be translated into Mandarin from English.
The move shows the extent to which an upper class and upper middle class is emerging and expecting Western entertainment.
Secondly, this entertainment is a status symbol, part of conspicuous consumption. Companies and wealthy individuals will likely take their families or connections as part of guanxi to these events.
Lastly, Beijing’s new Broadway illustrates the tendency for Chinese to adapt Western influences. Planners are not innovating musicals, but reproducing them in local terms.