China market as a whole, seems to be paying more attention to IP. The major players have now their own IP licensing and acquisition department. Shopping malls in China also seems to be looking into having its own mascot and events within the mall to attract more customers.
As more and more malls is built in China, they have to find ways to compete with each other. Many malls also have their own in door theme playground. Hence also rolling out their own merchandise.
Another Case Study – 阿狸的冬曰魔法乐园－上海时代广场。
Ali the Fox (Chinese: 阿狸) is a cartoon character created by Xu Han (Chinese: 徐 瀚 known as “Hans”), who graduated from the School of Fine Arts of Tsinghua University and received a master’s degree. Ali is a red fox in white pants. The company controlling the character is Beijing Dream Castle Culture Co., Ltd (S: 北京梦之城文化有限公司, T: 北京夢之城文化有限公司).
Ali began as an internet emoticon. He began appearing on Chinese internet sites in 2006. They included QQ, Renren, Sina Weibo, and WeChat. Ali has an animated TV series and a picture book series.
There is a film, Ali．Dream Island (阿狸．梦之島).
When making the picture book series, he originally wanted to adapt European fairy tales but instead decided to write the stories himself. By 2013 the Ali picture books have sold over two million copies. A promotional event for the third Ali picture book occurred in October 2013. In some cities, including Shanghai, Zhengzhou, and other cities, 2,000 signed books became sold out in fewer than three hours.
Hans, the creator of Ali, graduated from the School of Fine Arts of Tsinghua University and received a master’s degree in 2007.He is now a college teacher. He began to create Ali when he was a graduate student. In the year of 2010, he was nominated the award of Beijing Youth Star of Start-ups. Things he loves to do are watching movies and comic books and one of his dreams is to build a dream kingdom for Ali. Hans completed on his own all the work of Ali, including the design of Ali’s expressions and websites. The book Ali’s Dream Castle (S: 阿狸·梦之城堡, ) is considered one of the five-star books of Dangdang in 2010. And his second book Ali’s Eternal Stop (S: 阿狸·永远站) was launched in 2010 during Christmas. They sell over 2000 copies, breaking the selling record of Chinese comic books. The third book Ali•tail is under creation
As of 2013 he is a teacher at Minzu University of China and he is the chairperson of Beijing Dream Castle Culture Co., Ltd