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Sony bulks up anime business in China

New shows and merchandise planned to grow market Japan-style

Sony will set up an online shop selling products featuring characters from shows already airing in China. (Photo by Kazuyuki Okudaira)

TOKYO -- Sony plans to broaden its footprint in China's anime industry, aiming to apply a proven formula it has used in Japan, combining both new shows and merchandise to tap into a market that already exceeds $26 billion.

The company's decision to ramp up its anime business in China comes as the threat of piracy eases, due to a government crackdown designed to make the country "strong on intellectual property rights," as pledged in the most recent five-year plan.

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