TEA News

21 September 2021

Themed Entertainment Association Establishes a Formal Presence in China

BURBANK, CA – The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) has completed the establishment of a wholly foreign-owned entity, TEA Business Consulting (Shanghai) Co., LTD (commonly known as TEA China) - the organization’s official legal presence in Mainland China, with headquarters in Shanghai. This is a major step in the global growth of the TEA, which was founded in 1991 in Burbank, California to give a voice to the creative community of the worldwide theme park and attractions industry.

This new endeavor provides TEA with an official presence in China, the fastest growing market for themed experience - including theme parks, water parks, cultural tourism, museums, location-based entertainment (LBE), family entertainment centers (FECs), retail, immersive experiences and more.

The goal to formalize a TEA entity in China has been gathering momentum for several years as part of the organization’s global growth strategy. To bring it to fruition, a special TEA China Task Force was formed in January 2021 to develop a comprehensive business plan including financial, legal and governance structures to accomplish its goals. The plan includes significant benefits for TEA’s existing global membership to connect with new members in China providing enhanced networking opportunities, educational events, and deeper access to developers of cultural tourism projects inside China. In April 2021, the plan was unanimously approved by the TEA International Board of Directors, followed by Chinese government approval in July of 2021. TEA is now setting up and staffing the new TEA China office in Xintiandi, Shanghai.


TEA International Board President Chuck Fawcett is serving as the new Director of TEA China. He said, “TEA China represents a critical expansion of our organization’s capacity for global collaboration and will benefit the entire industry. We are now in a position to work more closely with companies in China to craft TEA’s brand and value proposition, and look forward to creating many new opportunities for TEA members worldwide. My sincere thanks to the TEA China Task Force and to everyone who was part of this monumental effort.”

TEA Asia Pacific Division President Owen Zhao said, “The establishment of TEA China was essential. Those who operate and develop parks and related venues need global expertise and a business community to serve them. Cultural tourism is one of China’s strategic industries, and the market is at the beginning of a significant growth cycle with government funds allocated for many new projects following the COVID-19 shutdowns.”

TEA International Board Member Evi Sari is serving as interim General Manager of TEA China. She said, “This is what TEA members want and what our industry needs. The conversation and collaboration that the TEA is fostering between the US and China will help to build a better, stronger themed experience industry.” 

TEA International Board Member Daniel Memis, SVP and Chief Financial Officer – Universal Creative said, “The creation of TEA China is a great milestone for TEA and will help to foster important global relationships as the themed entertainment industry continues to evolve and grow in the years to come.”

TEA International Board Member Chris Ho of Chimelong Group said, “As China’s leading theme park group, Chimelong draws upon talent from all over the world to create unique and meaningful guest experiences for Chinese guests. We have been honored to be a major supporter of TEA’s worthy activities over the past several years, and to help the organization grow. Their new role and larger voice in China will benefit our industry in the years to come.”


The TEA China Task Force built a financial and business plan under the leadership of its Chair Miia Tahtinen (Lappset Creative) with task force members including TEA President Chuck Fawcett (Animax Designs), Evi Sari (Nickelodeon Experiences Asia, ViacomCBS Networks International), Anthony Pruett (The Hettema Group), Dan Memis (Universal Creative), Darren Lim (Cityneon), and Meike Lippert (Merlin Entertainments), with guidance from Brian Sands (HKS) and consultants Jim Meffert (Tecker Associates), Dave Goch (TEA Counsel - Webster, Chamberlain & Bean, LLP), Walker Wallace (TEA China Counsel - O’Melveny & Myers, LLP), and a number of other advisors domestically and abroad.


The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) is an international non-profit association representing the world's leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences. Our members bring the experience of engaging storytelling and entertainment to a vast number of theme parks, waterparks, museums, wildlife attractions, casinos, hotels/resorts, restaurants, retail stores, sports/performance venues, and an ever-growing list of destinations that aim to bring a higher level of visitor experiences worldwide.

Press inquiries: Please email [email protected]g.

Posted by Josephine Gilmore



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