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South Korea’s CJ E&M has unveiled the launch of an animation division and plans to invest $15 million in it this year alone to develop various projects.
The new division particularly has its eyes set on the fast-expanding Chinese market and will set up a team dedicated to developing business opportunities in China during the first half of 2015.
The Asian media giant, which handles film, music, television and live entertainment content, is not new to making such investments. It has supported the local animation industry by holding various exhibitions and events. It plans to actively develop, produce and distribute animation projects, as well as operate licensing and character production businesses.
Its new merchandise licensing partnership with DreamWorks Animation, signed in December 2014, is also expected to boost its endeavors in Korea. In addition to the existing agreement on products targeting children, the recent agreement allows CJ to create more localized goods for a wider demographic range, such as beauty supplies for women featuring DreamWorks Animation characters.
As a first project, CJ unveiled the launch of animated TV series Robot Trains RT, targeting global audiences. It is a coming-of-age story about train-shaped heroes saving their village and seeking new adventures.
“With aggressive investment and tactful marketing, we are putting forth our best efforts to produce a variety of high-quality animations in order to lead the global market and give a boost to the local animation market as well,” said Han Ji-Soo, head of the new animation division.
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