Bandai Namco, Shueisha ally to sell cartoon character goods online in China

28, Jun. 2019

TOKYO, NNA – Japanese toy and entertainment firm Bandai Namco Holdings Inc. has teamed up with major publisher Shueisha Inc. to launch online sales of Japanese cartoon character goods in China.

The two firms plan to establish Shueisha Bandai Namco (Shanghai) Co. in October and begin sales in Tmall, one of the biggest e-commerce platforms in mainland China, by the end of March, a Bandai spokeswoman told NNA on Wednesday.

She declined to comment on specific characters for goods to be sold on the site run by China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Bandai will hold a 51 percent stake in the joint venture and Shueisha the remaining 49 percent. The local unit will utilize the intellectual property of cartoons from comics published by Shueisha, according to a statement released on Tuesday.

The items include figures and miscellaneous goods. Bandai has shipped figures and goods of the popular sci-fi television animation series “Mobile Suit Gundam” from Japan while selling those items at its own bricks-and-mortar shop in Shanghai, the spokeswoman said.

Japan’s hobby toy market is about 800 billion yen ($7.4 billion) annually, with Bandai Namco holding about 25 percent share. Bandai’s toy sales are growing, driven by Asian shoppers, according to the toy maker.