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Angry Birds plans China theme park, retail outlets

Angry Birds Land, the new part of the

Angry Birds Land, the new part of the Sarkanniemi amusement park in Tampere, seen on April 5, 2012. At Rovio, the future is Angry. The Finnish gaming company that made the eponymous Angry Birds title _ with more than 1 billion downloads to date _ is now spreading its wings beyond the virtual world. It has already launched plush toys, lunch boxes, clothing, stationery, food and drink items, a Formula 1 driver sponsorship deal and a jewelry line with the Angry Birds theme. Rovio this week announced it would launch an Angry Birds-branded debit card in Russia in partnership with a local bank. Next up: Angry Birds Land, one of the highlights of a theme park opening next month in the Finnish city of Tampere. (AP Photo/Lehtikuva, Antti Aimo-Koivisto) FINLAND OUT (Credit: AP)

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.

Pictured: Angry Birds Land in Tampere, FInland. (April 5, 2012)

Tags: amusement parks

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