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Sanrio boosts social media cute quotient

Visitors watch a virtual parade at Sanrio Puroland in Tama, western Tokyo, on July 18.

TOKYO -- Sanrio, the Japanese company behind the iconic cartoon character Hello Kitty, has created an online sensation.

     The company on July 10 launched Chanrio Maker, a free service that lets users create avatars in the trademark Sanrio style. Management hopes this will boost foot traffic at its Sanrio Puroland theme park in Tama, in western Tokyo.

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