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There's something just a little bit wrong in China Mobile's advertising, pictured above. Apparently Mario, Luigi and Sonic have all been conscripted into the firm's latest promotion.

Nintendo hasn't exactly made a habit of freely giving out its characters for other companies to use, being so protective as to initiate YouTube claims in some cases and to keep close control over licensing. It seems strange that Nintendo would lend its intellectual property to a mobile phone company, of all things, given its negative stance towards releasing games for the ever-increasing smartphone and tablet market.

China does not currently have any Wii U plans on the horizon — Nintendo has stated it's exploring alternative hardware for the country — but Chinese fans are able to buy a version of the 3DS within its borders under the iQue brand; it's a name Nintendo has used in the region since the release of a plug-and-play N64 system, so the company is not wholly devoid of a presence within the nation.

Ique 2

Despite the alarm bells that are ringing when the China Mobile promotional art tickles your retinas, the firm has reassured curious individuals that it has all the appropriate rights to use the characters' images to promote its new 4G plan.

The network provider is host to almost 800 million individuals, so Mario's mug plastered on marketing towards such an audience is arguably welcome for the plumber and his brother, though doesn't necessarily point consumers towards Nintendo's iQue products.

Do you believe the company's claims? Is this simply a cheeky and unofficial use of the moustachioed mascots? Do feel free to let us know in the comments below.

Thanks to Ryan Millar for the tip.

[source kotaku.com]