HONG KONG — Organised by HKTDC, the 16th Hong Kong International Licensing Show, the world’s second-largest and Asia’s largest event of its kind, drew to a successful close today. The three-day fair (8-10 January) attracted a record of more than 22,000 visitors from about 100 countries and regions. The seventh Asian Licensing Conference (8-9 January), featuring around 30 speakers from renowned brands global licensing experts, drew more than 1,500 attendees.
– Blossoming licensing development leads to opportunities
“The flourishing global licensing industry provides endless opportunities for all industries,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Raymond Yip. “Asia is the world’s third-largest licensing market as well as the region with the fastest growth, having increased 8.8 per cent over last year, an amount twice that of the global average growth rate.
The Chinese mainland is the second-largest licensing market in Asia. With an only 5.5 USD per-capita sales of licensed merchandise in 2016, the Chinese mainland is set to have huge potential for growth of the licensing market. Many of the world’s top licensing agents and brands leverage Hong Kong to enter the mainland market. As an important gateway to the Chinese mainland with a comprehensive set of intellectual property rights protection laws and global talent, Hong Kong is Asia’s licensing hub.”
Charles Riotto, President of Licensing Industry Merchandiser’s Association, said: “The Chinese mainland licensing market is booming. I anticipate that it will surpass Japan to become Asia’s largest licensing market by 2020.” Therefore, the Chinese mainland is a market not to be overlooked.
– Top Global Players convene in Asia’s Licensing Hub
Jack Yew, VP Location Based Experiences Asia, Viacom International Media Networks, said: “We have been exploring business opportunities in Asia which is the fasting-growing regional market led by Chinese mainland. Over recent years, Chinese mainland has been developing its local tourism sector which embraces foreign IPs entering into its location-based market.”
Janice Ross, Business Development & Head of Global Licensing, American Greetings said, “Care Bear has just celebrated its 35th Anniversary in 2017, and we have been receiving tremendous support from consumers in Asia. Hong Kong has always been the window of Chinese mainland to the world, hence Care Bear’s licensing agents have participated in the show several times and they were able to build business relationships here at the show.”
– Debut Meet with VIP Buyers sessions
To create more efficient connections between exhibitors and buyers, the Meet with VIP Buyers sessions, where VIP buyers introduced their licensing business and intent of collaboration, debuted at this year’s show. Participating VIP buyers included Xiaomi, JD.com and Kidswant from the Chinese mainland, Jollibee from the Philippines, and Sunway Group from Malaysia.
“As an e-commerce platform, we understand the importance of intellectual property,” said VIP buyer Galen Gao, Jing Ji Circle Agency Leader, JD.com. “JD.com has established the IP platform Jing Ji Circle to combine both e-commerce and licensing. The Licensing Show features a wide range of brands, making it the ideal platform for us to meet with potential business partners.”
– Licensing to leverage on opportunities in the Greater Bay Area
China’s Ministry of Culture led the largest-ever exhibitor group to the Licensing Show, they also organised the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong Cultural Industry Cooperation Forum, which aims to strengthen cooperation among mainland, Hong Kong and Macau’s licensing enterprises. This will help the licensing and IP trading industries to flourish in the three jurisdictions, as well as help open overseas licensing markets to Greater Bay Area enterprises.
– China to Boost Digital Licensing Business
First-time exhibitor Shanghai Suntree Cultural Creativity’s President Tony said: “We have produced 2D and 3D animation clips and comics being released via WeChat, Weibo and other platforms. Such contents would help grow our businesses in developing related products and licensed products.”
“Starting as a facility provider for theme parks, Fantawild Group went on to produce movies and then run our own theme parks. After more than a decade of effort, the group has become an animation studio strong at original contents as well as a one stop enterprise covering every segment of the industry, including movies, animation and comic products,” said Shang Lin Lin Senior Vice President, Fantawild Group, whose company was an exhibitor and herself a speaker for the Asian Licensing Conference.
– Mobile game Acid Rain sets sight beyond Hong Kong
“By participating in the Hong Kong International Licensing Show, Asia’s top event of its kind, we hope to meet with potential licensees,” said exhibitor Kit Lau, who is the author and IP holder of Acid Rain. “Acid Rain’s story was created with the aim of designing new toys. Later, I decided to develop the story into a mobile game. I met Aither Entertainment Ltd by chance. We thought the brand’s story and toys could be developed into a full-fledged intellectual property and thus began our partnership. Aither Entertainment Ltd became Acid Rain’s authorised agent. As a Hong Kong creation, we are confident that Acid Rain can go beyond the local market.”
– Hong Kong Tramways’ brand showcases local creative force
With more than a hundred years of history, Hong Kong Tramways was looking to expand to other markets, said exhibitor Stanley Yeung, CEO, Brands United Ltd, which became the brand’s agent. “Hong Kong Tramways possesses a sense of nostalgia and forms part of Hong Kong people’s collective memory. As this year’s Licensing Show spotlighted Hong Kong creative force, I invited three local illustrators to create display items themed around Hong Kong Tramways. There were many visitors and new overseas buyers at the show this year. We met an electrical appliances manufacturer who was very keen to partner with local brands to develop licensed products. We are pleased with the results at the show.”
– Concurrent events to enrich the Licensing Show
The Asian Licensing Conference 2018 shed insights on the latest trends in the licensing industry, ranging from location-based entertainment, corporate branding, to legal and operational tactics.
A Japanese delegation led by the Governor of Kumamoto Prefecture, Ikuo Kabashima, has organised apres conference. It has attracted a group of audience who were interested in the latest brand development of the iconic Japanese brand Kumamon.
The HKTDC arranged several overseas buying missions, including Chinese mainland and overseas delegations. Over 600 business-matching meetings were arranged. During the show, the Asian Licensing Association staged the Hong Kong Licensing Awards 2017, with several brands of Licensing Show exhibitors among the awardees, including Bodhi & Friends, SHIBE and Oki Kiki.