Mickey Mouse, Uncle Mao In Joint Marketing Effort -5/27/05

The Walt Disney Company has teamed up with China's Communist Youth League (CYL) to introduce youngsters throughout the country to the wonders of Mickey Mouse.

The collaboration with the CYL - founded and inspired by Chairman Mao Zedong and privately dubbed "Mickey Mao" by Western diplomats - aims to harness the power of the 70-million strong Communist movement to familiarize kids in one of the world's fastest-growing markets with its character-based products before the planned opening of the Disneyland theme park in Hong Kong later this year

The CYL has started singing and story-telling sessions with groups of 50 children in the boom town of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, which borders Hong Kong with "Communists" from 6 to 12 being taught Disney's most popular stories at official "youth palaces" throughout the country.