In 2014, the Hello Kitty Theme Park will be opening in Anji, Zhejiang Province. At a cost of $215 million, the 95,000-square-meter will feature all things all things Hello Kitty.
The park will be the third of its kind in the world and the first Hello Kitty theme park outside of Japan. Launched in 1974, Hello Kitty has spawned a massive global industry with sales of 50,000 Hello Kitty products — including dolls, clothes, accessories, electronic products, and even cars– in 109 countries and territories. Parent company Sanrio is partnering with Chinese property company Shanghai Insight Holdings Co. to build the park.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, “Hello Kitty’s popularity in China can be seen as a counterpoint to Sino-Japanese political tensions by demonstrating the population’s embrace of Japanese style, from Sony cameras to Toyota cars. And of course, like much else, Hello Kitty is actually made in China.”