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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Angry Birds to launch stores in China

By Gao Yuan (Chinadaily.com.cn)

15:18, February 22, 2012

BEIJING - The computer game Angry Birds is hitting the shops in China, and not just the virtual ones.

Rovio Entertainment Ltd, maker of the world-sensation, plans to open as many as 600 retail stores in China in the coming two years or so. The first batch of stores –– according to Rovio's chief marketing officer and co-founder Peter Vesterbacka –– will be opened in Beijing and Shanghai before this summer.

The Finnish digital-game developer hopes the stores in China can generate more than $100 million in revenue this year.

China is the second-fastest-growing market after the United States, according to the company. The apps of the Angry Birds series games had been downloaded more than 100 million times in the country by mid-February.

The soon-to-be-open stores will sell Angry Birds' derivative products such as stuffed toys, T-shirts and chocolates, according to the company.

Earlier this month, Rovio opened its official online stores on Tmall.com, the nation's largest business-to-customer platform, selling similar products.

Rovio expects the retail stores will retake market share that was purloined by pirated products.

"We have some issues with piracy, not only in apps, but also especially in consumer products," said Mikael Hed, chief executive officer of the company. "There are tons and tons of merchandise out there, especially in Asia, which are not officially licensed products."

Rovio's first official retail store was opened on Nov 11, 2011, in Helsinki, the capital city of Finland.

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