LEGO and China: There would’ve been a time where the toy company and the country wouldn’t seem to be right for each other in terms of market. Those days are long past now. LEGO has a factory in Jiaxing, they’ve released sets related to the country like Architecture Shanghai (21039), and they’re also recognized by the nation’s courts as a protected “well-known trademark.”
What could be new for a now-formidable partnership between LEGO and China? How about teaming up with one of the country’s household names in the tech market? Soon LEGO’s going to be present in China’s highly-regulated internet.
This is thanks to LEGO entering into a development deal with Tencent Holdings, a true heavyweight in China’s internet-related businesses and one of the world’s five biggest firms alongside, Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet/Google and Amazon. This partnership aims to develop new LEGO-branded games, videos and social media platforms for Chinese children.
One specific objective that the LEGO-Tencent team-up plans to accomplish is the establishment of a Chinese platform for worldwide LEGO mobile apps such as LEGO Life and LEGO Boost, both of which offer plenty of cool LEGO-related info and entertainment. Tencent would oversee the local content generated for these apps.
“Our most important purpose is to inspire children and help them develop through play,” says LEGO Group Chief Marketing Officer Julia Goldin. “Through our 85-year history, we have always had children’s safety as our highest priority…This heritage and approach is also reflected in our work to ensure safe digital LEGO experiences.”
To this, Tencent VP Thirty Sun adds, “A positive and healthy online experience for children is very important with more and more children connecting digitally.” He notes that Tencent is accountable for protecting children in the online experiences they offer, and also incorporate online child protection in business practices.
These efforts by LEGO to establish an online footprint in China, with Tencent’s, help also factors into their continuing initiatives towards brand recognition with Chinese consumers. In this manner, they hope to make LEGO stand far and above the country’s notorious hosts of imitator building-brick toy companies and products.