Online shopping platform selects cat as 'chief cute officer'

Updated: 2016-10-27 09:18

(People's Daily Online)

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Online shopping platform selects cat as 'chief cute officer'
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Chinese online shopping platform Tmall announced on Oct.20 its decision to select a cat as the company’s "chief maimeng (cute) officer" for the upcoming Nov. 11 online shopping festival. The announcement has intrigued pet lovers worldwide, convincing cat owners around the globe to compete for the "CMO" position.

In order to promote its Singles Day online shopping festival, the e-commerce giant, whose Chinese name translates to "sky cat," will select one feline to serve as its brand ambassador. Cats from anywhere in the world are eligible to join the competition, according to the announcement.

Some foreign cat celebrities have already signed up, including Grumpy Cat, an American online phenomenon whose permanently grumpy facial expression has gained her around half a million followers on Twitter. Maru, a Scottish fold from Japan whose YouTube videos have an average of 800,000 views each, has also thrown his hat into the ring, reported on Oct. 26.

Tmall has also launched augmented reality (AR) games featuring the cat celebrities. With the help of AR and LBS technologies, Internet users can interact with beloved cat celebrities online, as well as receiving coupons and gifts.

In addition to famous foreign cats, domestic cats are encouraged to apply for the position. Tmall has arranged a qualification trial on Sina Weibo, calling for Internet users to upload photos and short descriptions of their cats. The selection process has gone viral under the hashtag "ChiefMaimengOfficer," garnering over 19 million page views as of press time.

Nov. 11, also known as Singles Day in China, is an online shopping festival for Internet users around the country. In 2015, Alibaba Group saw its gross merchandise volume break the 2014 record within half a day after the 24-hour online shopping festival kicked off.