A Pu, a cartoon image of a young male panda who loves playing table tennis, has become the official global representative of China's giant pandas.
The image of A Pu won the China Giant Panda Global Image Design Competition, selected from more than 2,023 works recruited globally from 22 countries, the competition's organizers announced on Wednesday in Beijing.
The image of A Pu will be widely promoted as the official icon of China's giant pandas through cooperation with entertainment and sports companies and will be a bridge connecting China with the rest of the world, they said.
On Wednesday, the China Intercontinental Communication Center, one of the organizers of the competition, announced that they will produce animated films based on the image of A Pu and develop other related productions based on the image.
UPanda art exchange activities will take place and concerts by Chinese artists, including pianist Wu Muye, will introduce music combining traditional Chinese and Western elements to people worldwide.
Jointly organized by the communication center and the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Panda, the competition launched in February attracted designers from around the world.
The image of A Pu, created by a Beijing-based team with lead designer Wang Tianshi, was the ultimate winner.
Wang gave A Pu the identity of a young male panda who will soon be a freshman in college and loves playing table tennis. A Pu wears a red T-shirt on which an image of his favorite food－bamboo shoot－can be seen. The eyes of A Pu are heart-shaped, suggesting sentiments of love and caring.
"We were inspired while talking with some young and passionate people who have devoted themselves to the protection of giant pandas in Gansu province for years," Wang said.
"We made the image as a vigorous young panda with a positive life attitude, always daring to face challenges in an uncertain future," he said.
The name A Pu is similar to the pronunciation of "up", as the theme of the competition is "UPanda, signifying the vitality of the young generation".
"I strongly feel that the design reflects the new China which is modern and strong," said Anthony Christov, a former Pixar Animation Studios artistic director and now the overseas consultant of Wang's design team.
"I love the final result of the product because it conveys the openness of China to the world," he said.
Ling Li, an official from the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said giant pandas are an important cultural ambassador of China.
"The image of A Pu, with wisdom, vitality and optimism, is a reflection of China's young generation in the new era. It will play a positive role in the communication between China and the world," he said.