Sweden-based furniture maker IKEA hopes to expand into Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan Province, but for now the company cannot confirm any information about the construction of projects in the city this year, said a PR representative surnamed Xu with IKEA.
Xu's comment came after the Zhengzhou government said that IKEA will start construction in 2017 on projects in the city, according to a post on the local government's website on Monday.
"IKEA hopes to be able to buy land in Zhengzhou and open outlets in the city as early as possible, but for now we cannot confirm the information," Xu told the Global Times on Monday.
The Zhengzhou government said in a statement on its website that construction will begin on 183 primary projects, worth 430 billion yuan (.5 billion), in the city and its administrative districts and counties in 2017.
IKEA plans to build a store in the city's Huiji district, with investment worth 1 billion yuan, said a post on the website of Zhengzhou Foreign Investment Service Center on Saturday.
IKEA said on its website in July 2016 that China remains one of the fastest growing markets for IKEA Group, while the five largest retail markets based on sales value were Germany, the US, France, the UK and Sweden.
IKEA has so far operated 21 stores in China, according to Xu.
Disney denies construction, investment plans
Walt Disney Co said media reports about the company's plans to build a project in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, are untrue.
"Disney does not have any construction plan or investment projects in Henan Province," a Walt Disney employee who declined to be identified told the Global Times on Monday.
The Zhengzhou government did announce several major projects this year, including construction of a cultural and creative industrial park, but the local government will be responsible for all investment and construction, according to the employee.
"We expect clarification from the Zhengzhou government," the employee said.
The US conglomerate will start construction in 2017 on projects in Zhengzhou, media reports said Monday.
Disney plans to start a project that will require 3 billion yuan (6 million) in investment in Zhengzhou's Zhongmu county, according to a post on the website of the Zhengzhou Foreign Investment Service Center on Saturday.
The Shanghai Disney Resort opened in June 2016, becoming the first Disney theme park on the Chinese mainland.