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Business deals

Japan's Gree taps Bilibili to promote virtual stars in China

Duo aims to combine strengths to expand fan base in both countries

Gree hopes to cater to strong demand in China for Japanese anime and games through a tie-up with Bilibili. (Photo by Yoshino Sakurai)
Gree hopes to cater to strong demand in China for Japanese anime and games through a tie-up with Bilibili. (Photo by Yoshino Sakurai)

TOKYO -- Japanese game maker Gree said Tuesday it will partner with Chinese streaming site Bilibili to develop smartphone games and promote virtual internet celebrities, looking to tap into the large base of Chinese fans of Japanese anime and games.

So-called virtual Youtubers -- animated avatars that appear in videos on platforms like YouTube -- are a growing phenomenon in Japan and starting to take off in China as well. Gree will share content from its virtual Youtuber app with Bilibili's platform. While the videos will still be in Japanese, a translation function will be provided.

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