Disney boss warns China trade war would be damaging

Mickey and Minnie Mouse Image copyright Getty Images

Walt Disney's chief executive has warned that a trade war between the US and China would be bad for business.

China is increasingly important for the firm's movie and merchandise sales.

And it says Disneyland Shanghai - its first theme park in mainland China - was one of its "biggest success stories in 2016."

But there are fears protectionist policies being pursued by US President Donald Trump could set off a trade war between the two countries.

'Can't shut borders'

During his election campaign, Mr Trump threatened to impose a 45% tariff on Chinese imports, to try and tackle what he sees as an increasingly unbalanced economic relationship between the nations.

"An all-out trade war with China would be damaging to Disney's business and to business in general," Disney's chief executive Bob Iger told CNBC.

He was also critical of an executive order signed by Mr Trump barring migrants and refugees from several Muslim countries.

"We cannot shut our borders to immigrants," he said.

Holiday boost

The comments came as Disney reported overall sales unexpectedly falling to $14.8bn (£11.8bn) in the three months to the end of December, which is 3% lower than the same period a year ago.

It blamed a drop in advertising earnings at its cable network ESPN and a 7% fall in revenues at its movie business.

Disney's shares initially dropped 2% in after hours trading.

Since it opened its gates last June, Disneyland Shanghai has received more than 7 million visitors.

The firm reported tickets had been sold out over most of the Lunar New Year holiday period which began ten days ago.

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