The 27-year-old series only began airing in China in late 2014 when Sohu.com bought the rights to stream it on its online video portal (see screenshot below), and when a Simpsons World app by FX Networks allowed Chinese fans to watch more than 500 episodes for free.
“We have very high expectations for ‘The Simpsons’ in China. They are pop culture icons that represent the American family, and early indications show real excitement and anticipation from the Chinese audience,” said Jeffrey Godsick, president of FCP.
Shanghai will be second in line, with 100 more stores planned to follow. Each store will cover about 250 sqm and offer 200 licensed products including T-shirts, hats, jackets, phone cases, stationery, pants, shoes and socks.
Next on the agenda will be a 20th Century Fox theme park in China's Guangdong province.