The Shaolin Temple on the Song Mountain in Dengfeng, Henan province, where kung fu is said to have originated, is set to jump on the electronic commerce bandwagon by developing a mobile game based on the classic Chinese martial arts, the 21st Century Business Herald reported on Monday.
Shi Yanlu, a renowned martial arts teacher and monk at the Shaolin Temple, led a delegation of monks to a regional e-commerce forum hosted by Alibaba Group on July 3. According to Shi, they were there not just for a martial arts performance, but to learn more about leveraging the internet to promote kung fu in an interactive way.
The temple has been a first mover in commercializing its brand, already having nine subsidiaries involved in television and movies, pharmaceuticals and food products.
It plans to promote kung fu, including the use of swords, sticks and other weapons, by developing a movement-based mobile game. However, sources said the proposal is still in the initial stage of discussions, with the investment amount and other details of the project yet to be ironed out.
The temple gained international fame with the movie “Shaolin Temple”, which premiered in 1982 and recorded box office sales of over 100 million yuan (US$16.12 million) that year, although the ticket price then was only 0.1 yuan.
Adding an internet element to the Shaolin Temple brand is only a part of Dengfeng city’s ambitious plans for the coming years. The city government is also hoping to leverage the internet platform to further promote its tourism sector, agricultural products and martial arts business by linking up with third-party payment service providers like Alipay and online shopping players such as Taobao and Tmall, the report said.
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