The Tintin Shop: Inside Tintin’s Grand Shanghai Adventure

In 2019, a shop dedicated entirely to the French-language comic series The Adventures of Tintin opened in Shanghai.

The titular Tintin — 丁丁 (dingding) in Chinese — is a young reporter and adventurer created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Rémi, who went by the pen name Hergé.

Tintin was not officially published in China until 2001, but Chinese people began reading the series as early as the 1970s. Nowadays, some 1.5 million albums featuring entire Tintin installments are sold in China every year.

The series is nearly a century old — the first Tintin comic strip appeared in the Belgian youth newspaper Le Petit Vingtième in 1929.

Shanghai’s Tintin store, which opened right after the series’ 90th anniversary, is based on The Blue Lotus, the fifth volume of Tintin’s adventures.

The Blue Lotus takes place in Shanghai. In the story, Tintin is friends with a boy named Chang Chong-Chen, based on the author’s real friend from an art school in Brussels, Zhang Chongren.

In The Blue Lotus, Tintin arrives in Shanghai during the 1931 Japanese invasion, helping to uncover Japanese spies and a drug-smuggling ring.

Shanghai’s Tintin store is filled with nods to The Blue Lotus, from a Blue Lotus vase to figurines of all the comic strips’ characters to a recreation of a scene in which Tintin spies on opium smugglers.

As of the fourth anniversary of its opening in February, the shop has welcomed over 50,000 visitors from across China and the world.

Click the icon below to visit and learn more about Chinas arts and culture scenes.