Toymaker Lego has teamed up with Chinese internet giant Tencent to create branded video games and potentially a new social network targeting children in China.
In a statement Monday, Lego said the partnership with Tencent aims to “create a safe online environment covering content, platforms, and experiences tailored for Chinese children.”
The collaboration includes establishing a ‘Lego video zone’ for children on Tencent’s video streaming platform, as well as developing and operating Lego branded licensed games.
Lego Boost, a building and coding set that lets children turn their brick creations into moving objects, is also included in the partnership. The two companies will also explore developing Lego Life, a “safe social network for children” in China.
“What we are looking for now with Tencent is just to find more creative ways… (of) reaching children, and creating bespoke content with Tencent, in this case, video games,” Jacob Kragh, head of Lego in China, told Reuters.
Tencent, China’s most popular messaging app, is also the leading player in video games development in the country, with strategic investments in overseas mobile game makers.
Reuters noted that Lego has struggled in global sales growth in recent years, but the Danish firm recorded 25-30 percent year-on-year growth in the China market in 2016.
The company is competing with Barbie maker Mattel, which announced last year that it would sell its products in China via e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Tmall.com.
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