Economy Briefs: Angry Birds plans theme park, retail outlets

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SHANGHAI — Angry Birds is migrating to China.

Rovio, the Finnish gaming company behind Angry Birds, has opened its Shanghai office and outlined plans for activity parks and stores across China, one of its biggest markets.

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.

MYANMAR

Coke returns after six-decade absence

NEW YORK — The Coca-Cola Co. is preparing to sell its drinks in Myanmar for the first time in 60 years.

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.

Myanmar is one of three countries where Coca-Cola doesn’t do business. The other two are Cuba and North Korea.

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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