When Japanese messaging app Line found itself shut out of China, it took a somewhat unusual step.
Instead of packing its bags at the disappointment of losing access to the largest smartphone market in the world, it started banking on plush toys and other merchandise.
"Our messenger app remains unavailable in China at the moment. But when Line first entered China, we saw a huge popularity for its characters, and that remains today," said Takeshi Idezawa, Line Corporation's chief executive.
China blocked a number of foreign chat services in August 2014 in a bid to tighten censorship on mobile messaging apps, hitting Line and Korean chat app KakaoTalk, among others.
Despite the government move, Line is undeterred.
"We haven't given up (on China even though) our messenger app is not available in China at the moment. We'll monitor the situation and proceed accordingly," Idezawa told CNBC's "Managing Asia".
The Japan-based company which is owned by South Korea's largest web portal operator Naver. is popular in Asia and it has more than 200 million active users globally. Line's key markets are Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia.