Peppa Pig debuts in Shanghai after controversy
Six months ago, Peppa Pig videos were removed from a popular Chinese video platform after claims that the character was being used subversively
Peppa Pig’s family, including Danny Dog and Rebecca Rabbit, have finally landed in Shanghai.
The Peppa Pig World of Play is now officially open in Shanghai LC Mall in Pudong. There, children can immerse themselves in the world of a pink cartoon pig in Peppa’s 1,100-square-meter indoor play area.
Despite being known worldwide since first emerging in 2004, this marks the first time that characters from the popular British pre-school animated television series have made claim to Chinese territory. This, despite the cute cartoon having caused what is known in China as “Peppa Pig virus” earlier this year.
Six month ago, Peppa Pig videos were removed from Douyin, China’s most popular video platform, after state media said the character was being used subversively.
In a commentary, Global Times said, “After Peppa Pig started to take on this subversive hue and subsequently went viral, some experts said the popularity of the cartoon demonstrates the social psychology of (content) which could potentially hamper positive societal morals.”
Ironically, the hugely popular cartoon character devised for a pre-school audience found mass appeal with Chinese adults, many of whom resorted to the character for tattoos, jokes and even sexually suggestive content.
As a result, the Peppa Pig hashtag and content were blacklisted by Douyin. The ban, however, did not extend to other domestic pig cartoons, which quickly stepped up to fill the gap.
Peppa Pig continues to be China’s most popular cartoon pig character, with over 34 billion views on China’s online video platforms since 2000. Until now, over 100 translated episodes have been broadcast on the Chinese mainland.
The new indoor themed park boasts 10 areas devoted to different members of the Peppa Pig family.
The park also includes a screening theater, a gift shop, story-telling sessions, and offers arts and crafts classes for families.
Owner Merlin Entertainments say it plans to launch another park in China in the next two years.