Banned in China for more than a year, the Toyko-based messaging app LINE appears to have found an alternate strategy for entering the Chinese market with the opening of China’s first Line Friends Café & Store in Shanghai on July 30th.
According to China Daily, the Japanese-brand’s shop is located at Xintiandi SOHO Fuxing Plaza in Shanghai. Over 700 types of items are on display on shelves around the store. Customers can taste cartoon cakes, egg tarts and many other desserts that are made specially for the Chinese consumer.
Just don’t expect to share your savory experiences with friends on LINE. That’s what WeChat is for.
Despite lacking access to app itself, it seems like LINE has quite a few diehard fans in China. Crowds of Shanghai residents swarmed into the store on its opening day. “My friends and I heard the news that it was opening months ago and we have been waiting for so long to finally get in the door,” one very excited customer told reporters.
Apparently, a party to celebrate the store’s opening was even held that evening with LINE executives and VIPS in attendance.
According to management, the store did even better on its first day of business than expected. And why wouldn’t it? How freaking cute is that bear!?
We can only hope that other banned social media companies like Facebook and Twitter follow LINE’s lead and try their luck in China’s booming cute cafe business.
By Lucy Liu
[Images via jiemian.com]