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Angry Birds plans China theme park, retail outlets

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June 14, 2012 07:25 AM EST | AP

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SHANGHAI — Angry Birds is migrating to China.

Rovio, the Finnish gaming company behind Angry Birds has opened its Shanghai office and outlined plans for activity parks and stores across China, one of its biggest markets.

Angry Birds, currently the second most popular paid iPhone app, has a huge fan base in China, with much merchandise available in stores and online but most of it pirated.

The makers of the game, which features bubbly headed peevish birds attacking their enemies, the pigs, hopes it will be able to convert that popularity into legitimate sales.

"We expect to be more Chinese than the Chinese people, and we will add more and Chinese cultural elements to our products," Peter Vesterbacka, founder of "Angry Birds," said Thursday.

Rovio's initiatives so far in China have included moon cakes for the mid-Autumn Festival. It is opening stores in Shanghai and Beijing next month and is building an activity park in Shanghai's Tongji University.

It also plans a theme park in the nearby city of Haining, similar to its Angry Birds Land at Finland's Sarkanniemi Amusement Park.