China's Shaolin Temple will develop a new line of kung fu themed video games to expand its influence among younger audiences, the temple's management company announced Tuesday.
The Henan Shaolin Intangible Assets Management Co.,LTD, owned by the temple, has signed a cooperation agreement with China Mobile Games and Entertainment Group (CMGE) allowing the latter to use Shaolin's brand to develop games for both mobile devices and television.
The cooperation aims to encourage more young people to take interest in Shaolin's Buddhist zen culture and the ancient martial art of kung fu, said an official at the management company, which is responsible for the Shaolin brand.
Located in Dengfeng City of central China's Henan Province, the 1,500-year-old Shaolin Temple is regarded as the cradle of Chinese kung fu.
Shi Yongxin, monastery head of the Shaolin Temple, believes that the temple needs to keep pace with technology to attract new audiences and expand its influence.
Shaolin was the first temple in China to digitalize its business and now has nine subsidiary companies, which include martial arts studies, calligraphy, medicine, food and movies.
The temple first applied for its own internet domain name in 1996. In 2001 it launched its website, publishing Shaolin kung fu secrets for the first time.
It then started its e-commerce business on Taobao, a popular online retail platform, in 2008 to sell meditation costumes, candles, tee-shirts, watches, and the controversial Shaolin Medical Book for 9,999 yuan (1,600 US dollars).
In 2012, it opened accounts on social media website Weibo, where it now has 70,000 followers.