Lego plans video games, social network for Chinese children

Toy maker Lego is partnering with China’s Internet giant Tencent to offer games, video and possibly a social network aimed at children. (AP)
Updated 15 January 2018
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Lego plans video games, social network for Chinese children

LONDON: Toy maker Lego is partnering with China’s Internet firm Tencent to offer games, video and possibly a social network aimed at children.
The privately-owned company based in Copenhagen, Denmark, said Monday that the deal would combine Lego’s ability to create content with Tencent’s distribution reach.
“We’ve seen more and more Chinese children engage with the world digitally, and the partnership will bring them safe and imaginative Lego content,” said Jacob Kragh, general manager of Lego China.
Shenzhen-based Tencent is one of China’s most powerful Internet companies, running the WeChat messaging app as well as online payment platforms and games. Because Chinese authorities have largely shut out Western companies like Google and Facebook, homegrown Internet companies like Tencent have been able to grow rapidly in size.
For Lego, the move is part of a reorganization of its business that it began last year, when it announced it was shedding 1,400 jobs, or 8 percent of its workforce.
Lego has for years moved beyond the traditional plastic bricks it is known for, backing films and digital products.
But its sales hit a peak last year and the company is looking for new ways to reach children in more countries.
China has been one of the bright spots for Lego recently, with annual sales up by double digits, and the partnership with Tencent will seek to reinforce its presence in one of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing markets.


Meghan presents fashion award to wedding dress designer Waight Keller

Givency's British fashion designer Clare Waight Keller poses with her award for British designer of the year Womenswear during the British Fashion Awards 2018 in London on December 10, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 11 December 2018
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Meghan presents fashion award to wedding dress designer Waight Keller

  • The two women met in early 2018, before the designer created the dress worn by Meghan for her wedding to Harry on May 19
  • The British Fashion Awards recognized Vivienne Westwood, winner of the award for positive change, for her commitment to the environment

LONDON: Givenchy’s artistic director Clare Waight Keller Monday received the British designer of the year womenswear award from Meghan Markle, whose dress she designed for her wedding to Prince Harry.
“It is such a pleasure to be here celebrating British fashion,” Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, said at the star-studded annual Fashion Awards at the Albert Hall.
The former US actress, who is pregnant, praised the “vision,” “creativity” and also “the incredible kindness” of Waight Keller.
The two women met in early 2018, before the designer created the dress worn by Meghan for her wedding to Harry on May 19.
The British Fashion Awards also recognized Vivienne Westwood, winner of the award for positive change, for her commitment to the environment.
The 77-old high priestess of punk took the opportunity to denounce the “rotten financial system” which the dame said was “the cause of all our problems.”
A long-time political campaigner, she also took aim at French President Emmanuel Macron who recently canceled fuel tax increases in the face of the “yellow vest” protests.
“This tax hurts the poor more than anybody,” Westwood said, adding “he’s not thinking that he has already given all these tax breaks to the rich people. So of course everybody is going to be annoyed.”
The model of the year award went to 17-year-old Kaia Gerber, following in the footsteps of her mother, former supermodel Cindy Crawford.
“It’s such an honor,” said the young American, on the verge of tears. “I have just a small role in making a creative vision come to life but I’m so beyond grateful to be a part of it.”
Among the other awards, Italian fashion house Gucci was named brand of the year and Italian Pierpaolo Piccioli, artistic director of Valentino, won the best designer award.