Doraemon is much more popular than you're giving it credit for! He's basically a Japanese cultural icon. You'll find more people that know Doraemon than people that know Naruto and such in Japan.
It's not unusual that people in China are very well aware of him as well. Plus there's a lot of merchandise potential with a cute mascot character.
If I had a thumbs up icon, this is the best answer.
Just wanted to add on:
I look up Doraemon. It's an old series that had 45 volumes or so and well beloved manga series for children and practically everyone. The mascot was considered as the Asian ambassador.
In 2002 the anime character was acclaimed as an "Asian Hero" in a special feature survey conducted by Time Asia magazine.
It's hard to compete with nostalgia for Doraemon compared to other shows. I don't live in the UK, but I assumed Doraemon wasn't much of a hit in the UK.
P.S. Do you know about the Oriental cat culture? The common denominator between Chinese,Japanese,Taiwanese,Hong Kongers, Malaysians and Koreans is the Buddhism but Buddhists don't worship cats
You're wrong about a few parts. The Beckoning Cat originally came from Japan, and it was very popular and adopted by other cultures like the Chinese. In regards to Buddhism, it's true that Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism doesn't have a strong emphasis on cats in their lore. However, the Japanese Buddhists had lore about the cat in their shrine. They don't "worship the cat." The cat is just a good luck charm. Though, I could be confusing that branch of Buddhism with Shinto. Sometimes, Buddhists take part in Shinto rituals. I'm not that familiar with Buddhism in Japan as I am with Theravada, my former religion.
Sorry to derail this a bit. I couldn't help correcting you.