Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, October 25 – Mickey and Minnie Mouse are probably the most popular Disney characters in China, although certain Disney princesses are also well known, as well as the more recent movies like Frozen. Mickey Mouse is called 米奇 Mǐ qí, (pronounced Mee Chee) or 米老鼠 Mǐ lǎo shǔ (lao shu is mouse).” Minnie is called 米妮 Mǐ nī (pronounced Mee Nee). The Chinese names are phonetic, and have nothing to do with the actual meaning of the characters (the “mi” means rice, I think it’s a fun thought that they could be “rice mice” in China! :-) ) You find them quite often on young children’s school and art supplies, but although I have searched specifically, I couldn’t find a product with their Chinese names included. I figure it must be something with the copyright laws? There are also plush toys, clothing, etc. with Mickey and Minnie, but it all looks like what you would find in the USA. There has been a Disney park in Hong Kong since 2005, and the first one on mainland China opened this past June in Shanghai. If you’d like to hear Mickey speak Chinese, here is a You Tube video with the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tsuf_5_8-Ak
In Guangdong, the province where we live, as well as in Hong Kong, the local language is Cantonese, which is quite different from Mandarin Chinese. Here is the same Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Intro in Cantonese: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TijzuzYFtqc
The picture shows, from top left clockwise: Dr. “Mi qi” and nurse “Mi ni” on a paper pad, Oil pastels (these are what the children use as crayons), pencil cases, candy boxes (these are obviously a little different but still had Disney), backpacks, and a notebook for English practice. All products pictured are official Disney products.