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Warren Buffett is the face of Cherry Coke in China

BEIJING (AFP) – The likeness of billionaire Warren Buffett is gracing Cherry Coke cans in China, where the company´s largest investor enjoys a legendary reputation.

Coca-Cola announced over the weekend that a grinning cartoon portrait of the American business magnate would adorn cans and bottles of his favourite flavour after it was introduced in the country on March 10.

Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett´s investment firm, is Coca-Cola´s biggest shareholder with a 9.3 percent stake valued at about $17 billion.

“Incidentally, there is no compensation involved,” Buffett told Yahoo Finance of the use of his image for “a limited promotional period.”

The 86-year-old investor and philanthropist has been photographed on numerous occasions taking a swig of Cherry Coke, earning him the title of “best-known fan” from Coca-Cola chief executive Muhtar Kent.

In Communist-ruled China, where Chairman Mao portraits are as ubiquitous as brand-name logos, Buffett´s business acumen has made him a celebrity and inspired thousands of Chinese investors to reportedly flock to Omaha, Nebraska, for Berkshire Hathaway´s annual meeting last year.