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LEGO partners with Chinese internet firm Tencent

Toy giant LEGO has partnered with a giant of a different kind in the form of Chinese internet conglomerate Tencent.

The firm is well known in industry circles for their gaming and social networking platforms, aimed at creating content and safe online spaces for children.

The pair will work together to create new games as well as a LEGO zone in Tencent’s online video streaming platform.

The move builds on LEGO’s significant growth in China, that has seen sales grow 25 – 30 per cent in 2016.

“We’ve seen more and more Chinese children engage with the world digitally, and the partnership will bring them safe and imaginative digital LEGO content that also supports their needs of learning, development and entertainment,” said Jacob Kragh, head of LEGO in China, in a statement.

The toymaker’s coding project LEGO Boost will also see localisation for the region. The company will also explore opportunities in its own dedicated social media platform.

Tencent is recognised as the second largest mobile games player in the world, and is also responsible for competitive online game League of Legends.

"While LEGO has a presence in mobile gaming, primarily with free-to-play games, it has yet to find a major hit for the LEGO brand name in this space," commented Euromonitor’s Matthew Hudak.

"Much of the global mobile gaming growth for free-to-play games will come from emerging markets, where the LEGO brand is not nearly as established, making the chances of success of a licensed mobile game much less likely," Hudak concludes.

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