"Hai (海)" means the sea in Chinese, and "Bao (宝,寶)" means the treasure. Its figure is in the shape of the Chinese character "人" (meaning human). Haibao was produced by Taiwanesedesigner Wu Yong-jian and adopted as the official mascot of the World Expo on December 18, 2007. He was selected out of 26,655 entries as part of an international competition.
Some say that Haibao resembles Gumby, the green clayhumanoid figure shown on American television from the 1950s–'60s. The expo's secretariat said that it is an original design and they had never heard of Gumby.
It has been noted that, compared to Gumby, Haibao looks far more like a cartoon mascot also named Haibao from an appliance company, Xinxiang Haibao Electrical Appliance, whose managers are unsure why the Expo would use "almost the same image as our logo", adding that it was "the biggest ever advertising for free."