Disney targets India and China

24 March 2009

PALM BEACH, Florida: The Walt Disney Company is looking to expand its operations in Asia, including the "large and important" markets of India and China, according to Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International.

While Asia is seen as a key area of growth by many companies as more advanced markets slow, it is also argued to be a region of considerable social and cultural complexity, requiring a nuanced approach.

Bird similarly suggests it is crucial to understand each Asian market's "unique set of characteristics", as despite some "common areas in terms of how people consume media, the landscape in which they do it is often very, very different."

As such, he says that Disney plans to "tailor-make" its products for each market to ensure they fit in both with the needs of consumers, and also the specific regulatory environment.

The company's strategy in China will thus be centred around consumer products and retailers, as while foreign companies have a large degree of freedom in these areas, they face more stringent restrictions on their activities relating to television and cinema.

By contrast, the Indian TV and movie sector is much more developed than the country's retail market, meaning Disney will need to adopt a very different strategy than it employs in China.

Data sourced from INSEAD; additional content by WARC staff