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Warren Buffett appears on Cherry Coke cans in China

Warren Buffett's face on Cherry Coke can Image copyright Coca-Cola

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett's face is appearing on promotional packs of Cherry Coca-Cola in mainland China.

Mr Buffett is frequently pictured in public drinking Cherry Coke, and his investment firm Berkshire Hathaway is Coca-Cola's biggest shareholder, with nearly 10% of the shares.

Coca-Cola admitted it was "surprised" when Mr Buffett agreed to let it use his image.

He is not being paid for his appearance on cans and 500ml bottles.

Cherry Coca-Cola launched in the US in 1985. It was introduced to the Chinese mainland on 10 March.

"I can't think of a better way to launch Cherry Coke than with its best-known fan on the package," said Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola chairman and chief executive.

Coca-Cola said Mr Buffett's "investing success" had "become legendary" in China. Media reports have said that some Chinese investors make the trip to Omaha to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual meetings.

Berkshire Hathaway's links to Coca-Cola go back more than 25 years. In its most recent annual report it said it had made gains of more than $15bn (£12bn), excluding quarterly dividends, from its investment.

Mr Buffett said Mr Kent had approached him with the idea a few months ago. "I said it would be fine to do it for the first six months after launching the product.

"If there are no problems associated with this and he asks me to continue, I will likely say OK," added Mr Buffett.

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