Asia’s Largest Licensing Show and Conference Open

Variety of Licensing Projects Showcase Hong Kong’s Creativity

HONG KONG – (ACN Newswire) – The 17th edition of the HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show and the eighth Asian Licensing Conference, both organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), kicked off today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The International Licensing Show is Asia’s largest, and the world’s second-largest, event of its kind.

Rapid Growth in Licensing Drives Industry Forward

HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong said the shifting economics of global manufacturing have created challenges for industry players, with issues such as increasing protectionism and the transition to e-tailing leading many businesses to begin exploring licensing opportunities in a bid to move up the value chain.

“The licensing industry has been showing an upward trend,” said Ms Fong, adding that global sales of licensed products reached US$271 billion in 2017, an increase of 3.3% on the previous year. “The regional story was impressive, with sales growing by 5.8% to US$31.6 billion and accounting for 11.6% of the world total,” she noted. Ms Fong highlighted that the Mainland China market showed an increase of 10.3%, topping the world growth chart and continuing to be a significant driver of the global licensing industry. She advised that two new sessions are making their debut at the Licensing Conference in 2019, the “Direct-To-Retail (DTR) Talk” and “Licensee Dialogue”, both featuring renowned retailers and innovative licensees from the region to share the hottest cross-sector collaborations.

Local Creative Talents Explore Licensing Opportunities

Many international licensors and licensing agents choose Hong Kong as a strategic hub to expand their Asian licensing business, especially into the mainland market. The Licensing Show features more than 400 exhibitors from around the globe, gathering over 1,000 brands and licensed items. Among those taking part are top international licensors and licensing agents such as CAA-GBG Global Brands, IMG, Global Icons, Nickelodeon, Sanrio, Skynet and Perfetti Van Melle, and renowned lifestyle brands Chupa Chups, HEAD and MotoGP(TM). The Leonardo3 Museum, Van Gogh Museum and J. Paul Getty Museum present their intellectual properties (IPs) at the debuting Art and Museum Zone, while Mulga and Jimmy Liao also make their maiden appearance at the show.

Hong Kong is Asia’s foremost licensing hub, and many of the city’s homegrown designs and products have successfully expanded into Asia and other overseas markets. The inaugural DLAB Hong Kong Pavilion is one of the highlights at this year’s show, featuring 40 young properties from Hong Kong, including Shibainc and Messy Desk. Popular well-established local brands such as B.Duck, McMug & McDull, Happiplayground, Sing Sing Rabbit and Made In Hong Kong will also have a presence at the event, showcasing the city’s boundless creativity.

Seven Government-led Country Pavilions Feature Diverse Brands

This year’s show features pavilions from the mainland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia – the latter taking part in the show for the first time. Thanks to the continued support of various Asian governments, the scale of these pavilions has been expanded in 2019. The mainland has been striving to turn its cultural and creative industry into an economic pillar in recent years, encouraging more animation, comics, arts and cultural enterprises to commercialise their creativity and IPs into licensed products and services. The mainland pavilion is once again organised by China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, featuring nearly 120 companies including well-known cultural, arts, animation and comics branded institutions, including the Palace Museum, Fantawild Animation Inc and Guangdong Winsing Animation.

Licensing Crossover Promotes Charity Effort

With the growth of the designer toy industry, so-called “art toys” have become more popular with consumers in recent years. This year, Hong Kong exhibitor Unbox Industries has collaborated with non-government organisation Christian Action to invite 10 local and overseas designers to create a limited-edition designer toy for charity. All funds raised will be donated to Christian Action. The two parties will cooperate to explore licensing the IP of the new toy.

Asian Licensing Conference Explores New Opportunities

The concurrent Asian Licensing Conference is being held today and tomorrow (7-8 Jan), gathering some 30 global licensing experts to share valuable industry insights.

This morning’s two plenary sessions focused on the fast-growing Asia and Mainland China markets. In the first session – chaired by Maura Regan, President, International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) – Miki Yamamoto, Senior Vice President, Licensing, Asia, IMG; Vikram Sharma, Vice President, Cartoon Network Enterprises, Turner International Asia Pacific Ltd; Andrew Carley, EVP Global Licensing, Entertainment One; and Nicolas Loufrani, CEO, Smiley World Ltd analysed the key issues and shared their successful formulas for tapping into the Asian market.

The second session, chaired by Figo Yu, Partner, Magic Bean VC Co-founder, Dream Castle, discussed the huge licensing opportunities in the mainland market and the success stories of various companies transforming content and characters into popular IPs. The panellists at the session were Jane Yun, Director, Interactive Entertainment Marketing Department, Tencent Brand Responsible Person, Tencent E-sports; Allen Wang, Vice President, Consumer Products, Greater China, Universal Pictures; Zirui Ao, co-founder, YI JIAN YU ZHOU (Beijing) Culture Co., Ltd; and Gordon Chin, CEO, Asia Animation Ltd.

Esports – the New Licensing Spotlight

Esports is booming worldwide, with the mainland becoming the growth engine for esports in the region. A thematic session this afternoon saw Jai Wu, Head of LPL Merchandise & Licensing, Riot Games China, and Eric Jou, APAC Business Development and Partnerships, ESL Gaming, share the latest esports developments in Asia and discuss the immense opportunities arising from the wide application of licenses and IPs for games and leagues.

New Opportunities for Cross-sector Cooperation

Making their debut at this year’s conference are two new sessions, “Direct to Retail” Talk and “Licensee Dialogue”, focusing on the emergence of retail partnerships and ground-breaking licensing operations. Management representatives from Jing Ji Circle, Mengniu Group, Haier COSMO, Hanshin Arena and Casablanca Group shared valuable insights and their cross-sector-cooperation success stories this afternoon.

The HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show and Asian Licensing Conference run concurrently with the HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong Baby Products Fair and Hong Kong International Stationery Fair at the HKCEC this week, creating synergy and more cross-sector business opportunities for buyers.

Hong Kong International Licensing Show website:
Asian Licensing Conference website:
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Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses. With 50 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With more than 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing business insights and information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room. For more information, please visit: Follow us on Google+, Twitter@hktdc, LinkedIn.


Coco Yuen, Tel: +852 2584 4145, Email:
Christine Kam, Tel: +852 2584 4514, Email: 
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