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Economy Briefs: Angry Birds plans theme park, retail outlets
SHANGHAI — Angry Birds is migrating to China.
Angry Birds, currently the second-most popular paid iPhone app, has a huge fan base in China, with much merchandise available in stores and online but most of it pirated.
The makers of the game, which features bubbly headed peevish birds attacking their enemies, the pigs, hopes it will be able to convert that popularity into legitimate sales.
“We expect to be more Chinese than the Chinese people, and we will add more and Chinese cultural elements to our products,” Peter Vesterbacka, founder of Angry Birds, said Thursday.
Rovio’s initiatives so far in China have included moon cakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival. It is opening stores in Shanghai and Beijing next month and is building an activity park in Shanghai’s Tongji University.
It also plans a theme park in the nearby city of Haining, similar to its Angry Birds Land at Finland’s Sarkanniemi Amusement Park.
Coke returns after six-decade absence
The world’s biggest maker of soft drinks said Thursday it will start doing business in the country as soon as the U.S. government issues a license allowing American companies to make such investments.
The U.S. announced last month that it was suspending restrictions on American investments in the Southeast Asian country, which is still easing toward democracy. Until last year, Myanmar had been led by an oppressive military junta.
Coca-Cola said its products will initially be imported from neighboring countries as it establishes local operations in Myanmar; the company notes that it has a history of quickly re-entering markets when possible.
In 1949, for instance, Coca-Cola and other foreign companies were expelled from China by the communist government. After full diplomatic relations were established with the country in 1979, Coca-Cola had 20,000 cases of its flagship drink trained into the country from Hong Kong, which was still a British territory at the time.
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