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Shanghai is getting a Hello Kitty indoor theme park next year

Hello Kitty is one of the world's most recognisable characters and a figure as synonymous with Japanese pop culture as Pokémon, manga, anime, and Super Mario. Incredibly popular here in China just as it is back in Japan, Shanghai-based fans of Sanrio's cute cat character are in for a treat as an indoor Hello Kitty theme park is set to come to the city next year.

Slated to open in October 2018, the park will be housed at the Shanghai Mart mall on Nanjing Dong Lu and will span three floors, covering the equivalent area of five Olympic-sized swimming pools – but with considerably less water and considerably more Hello Kitty.

There is already a Hello Kitty-themed amusement park here in China – Hello Kitty World in Zhejiang's Anji Mountains. As far as Shanghai is concerned, the new indoor attraction won't be the first piece of Hello Kitty real estate here in the city, as Hello Kitty Bistro Bianco opened at Plaza 353 last year.

Shimao Group, owner of Shanghai Mart, have had the Hello Kitty image licensed to them by Sanrio and reportedly have around 200 million RMB to invest into the project, according to Shanghai Daily.

A brand that has released jewellery, TV series, video games, music and comics, opened dim sum restaurants, has a feature film in the works and has seen its image adorn debit cards, electric guitars and even commercial airliners, the popularity of this kawaii character can almost guarantee that the new theme park will be a success.

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