Angry Birds maker Rovio is witnessing strong growth in China and is expanding operations there to capitalize on it.
The company announced today it has opened corporate and marketing operations in China that will aid its plans to develop titles for Chinese users. To kick things off, Rovio in September will be launching the "Moon Festival" episode of Angry Birds Seasons to coincide with the country's Mid-Autumn Festival. Moon Festival will also be available to Rovio's users outside of China.
To help embed itself in the Chinese market, Rovio is creating "Angry Birds-themed moon cakes," as well as Angry Birds shoes at the country's largest online shoe company, Letao. Rovio said its first production run of the shoes sold out in their first week of availability.
China has proven to be an extremely important market for the Angry Birds franchise. According to Rovio, its game, which lets players slingshot birds at structures to kill pigs, has been downloaded 300 million times around the world. China has become the company's second-largest market and is expected to account for 100 million downloads by the end of the year.
Rovio's growth since Angry Birds first launched in the Apple App Store in December 2009 has not gone unnoticed. In March, the company announced that it had secured $42 million in a Series A round of funding led by venture-capital firms Accel Partners and Atomoico Ventures. Rovio said at the time that it would use the cash infusion to "facilitate its strategic expansion."