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Panda cub to create estimated 16.6 mln dollars in business

English.news.cn   2014-01-07 14:11:26            

Yuan Zai, the first Taiwan-born baby panda, plays at the Taipei City Zoo in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan, Jan. 4, 2013. Yuan Zai was unveiled to media on Saturday and will meet the public on Jan. 6. (Photo: Xinhua/Chen Yehua)

BEIJING, Jan. 7 (Xinhuanet) -- The first Taiwan-born giant panda is making her public debut in the city of Taipei. Her name is Yuanzai.

The media and public alike are smitten by the cub, which is expected to generate well over 16 million US dollars worth of business for the city this year.

The 6-month-old panda cub has stolen the city's heart, with people snapping up a huge assortment of Yuanzai-related merchandise.

The Taipei City Government unveiled more than 30 pieces of panda products to mark her highly-anticipated first public appearance.

For starters, colombian-style panda masks are given for free, to children of all ages.

"Kids really love them! No doubt!"

"Can I have more than one? Can I bring my whole family to get those panda eyeshades?"

Even stalwart men in their 30s can't resist Yuanzai's fluffy appeal.

"Don't you agree it will be really comfy and warm to fall asleep holding the panda plush?!"

There has also been tremendous demand for the large panda teddy-bears that have been released.

They stand 150-centimeters tall. One man was seen with two stuffed in his shopping cart, while carrying a third one on his shoulders.

The joke around town is that the giant inflatable rubber duck touring Taipei, which deflated the other day, lost it's air because it's jealous of the Panda.

But Yuanzai is making some moms really worried.

The panda-mould rice shaper is reportedly challenging hello kitty, as the most-wanted bento box mold.

"I bought one of the panda moulds. And I bought one hello kitty."

"It is so cute. And it seems very easy to make rice balls with it!"

Since Yuanzai's birth on July 6th, demand for panda shaped moulds surged 30 percent.

Stores near the Taipei Zoo have run out of their supply of dainty black-and-white porcelain panda charms, despite the 63 US-dollar pricetag.

Zoo officials say the panda exhibit can normally handle up to 19 thousand daily visitors to see Yuan Zai, but they expect even more traffic during the upcoming Spring Festival.

The daily quota for the exhibit will be raised to 24 thousand during the Lunar New Year, starting on January 31.

Yuanzai is so popular that she is featured with the same prominence as the horse, this coming year's zodiac animal.

Huanglv Jinru is the head of Department of Civil Affairs of Taipei City Government.

"Major scenes have been created featuring Yuanzai and her family, father tuantuan and mother yuanyuan as the main characters, playing bamboo dragonflies and whipping top. It's heart-warming nostalgia."

Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, whose combined names mean "reunion" in Chinese, arrived in Taiwan in late 2008.

(Source: english.cri.cn)

Editor: Zhu Ningzhu
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