Latest developments in view, industry hot topics discussed

Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show and the Asian Licensing Conference serve not only as Asia’s flagship licensing events, but also as important platforms for global licensors and brands to explore new business opportunities. The 18th edition of the Licensing Show (6-8 January) and the ninth Licensing Conference (6-7 January) run in parallel at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, showcasing licensed products and services, sharing licensing success stories and bringing participants up to date on the latest market trends.

Margaret Fong, Executive Director, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC)

Speaking at this morning’s opening ceremony for the two events, Margaret Fong, HKTDC Executive Director, said: “In 2018, global retail sales of licensed merchandise were valued at US$280 billion, a 3.2% increase on the previous year. Asia accounted for 12% of the total global market share. The Mainland China market continued its impressive growth path, climbing 6.5% year-on-year, and now stands as Asia’s second largest licensing market after Japan. We expect that the Asian and mainland markets will continue to be significant drivers for the industry.”

Ms Fong added that as an increasing number of businesses explore licensing as a way to move up the value chain, Hong Kong will have a key role to play in facilitating the growth of the industry. “Benefiting from factors such as a rigorous intellectual property protection regime, robust legal system, professional expertise and proximity to Mainland China and other key Asian economies, Hong Kong provides the ideal platform for global brands and top licensors to access markets across the region,” she said.

Showcasing world licensing projects and Hong Kong’s creative force

This year’s Licensing Show has brought together more than 320 exhibitors, featuring over 700 brands and properties with licensing industry leaders such as CAA-GBG Global Brands Management Group, IMG, MediaLink and Sanrio in attendance.

In addition, six government-led regional pavilions from Mainland China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong feature at the Licensing Show. With the dedicated support of governments from across Asia, the pavilions provide more networking and business-matching opportunities for participants. Riding on the upsurge in authentic Hong Kong designs and supported by CreateHK, the “DLAB Hong Kong Pavilion” returns this year featuring various local original brands. Other brands are featured at the fairground to promote the strength of homegrown design, including Din Dong, Artspirit Creative, Shibainc Limited and the McMug & McDull family.

Conference examines market trends and industry outlook

As the quality of life across Asia continues to improve, consumers are expecting higher standards from the goods they purchase. This has led to global brands developing proactive strategies to enter the Asian market, which in turn is helping to drive the growth of the licensing industry in the region. The first plenary session of the conference, “Asian Licensing Market Outlook”, sees a panel of experts – Mark Coleman, Vice President, Licensing and Experience, Asia Pacific and Middle East, National Geographic; Claire Gilchrist, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Hasbro Consumer Products; and Lisa Reiner, Managing Director, Europe & Asia Pacific, Beanstalk – discuss the latest trends and opportunities in the Asian licensing industry. The session is chaired by Maura Regan, President, Licensing International.

The second plenary session – “From Brand Licensing to Lifestyle Experience” – sees discussions on licensing as a brand promotion strategy. Tien Yue Chen, Executive Director of Royal Selangor Marketing Sdn Bhd, Yu Chen-lai, General Manager of Fine Entertainment Limited, and Stefania Perletto, Licensing Manager at AS Roma, will share how sports, music, entertainment and gifts use licensing to create unique brand experiences and extend into our daily lives.

Exploring the surge in esports licensing

Gaming and esports have become mainstream entertainment in recent years. According to the latest Newzoo market reports, revenue from the global gaming market was expected to reach US$152.1 billion in 2019 with 9.6% year-on-year growth and the Asian market accounting for 47% of the global share. Spinning off from the gaming industry, global revenue from esports grew by 26.7% to reach US$1.1 billion last year. At the first thematic session of the conference, Wilson Chow, PwC Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Industry Leader, Daniel Amos, Head of Esports at Difuzed, and Patrick Mahoney, Co-founder and CEO of We are Nations, unveil the business opportunities brought by license-based gaming and esports activities, ranging from media rights and tournaments to games publishing, merchandising and ticketing.

New Licensing Academy provides valuable insights

The newly introduced Licensing Academy, organised by the HKTDC and Licensing International and supported by the Intellectual Property Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. This series of workshops feature experts from the legal, intellectual property and business sectors who will introduce basic licensing concepts and operation models, explaining IP protection, royalty and cross-border cooperation between retailers and manufacturers.

At the same time, the HKTDC continues to provide business matchmaking services on site. The services are also available online this year through the Licensing Show website. This one-stop solution connect buyers with exhibitors at the show, helping buyer and exhibitors to identify – and make crucial connections with – potential business partners from Hong Kong.

Running concurrently with the licensing events at the HKCEC this week, three other quality trade events – the HKTDC Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong Baby Products Fair and Hong Kong International Stationery Fair – create synergy and more cross-sector business opportunities for global buyers.

Event websites
– Asian Licensing Conference:
– Hong Kong International Licensing Show:
– Photo download:


The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn.


Angel Tang, Tel: +852 2584 4544, Email:
Coco Yuen, Tel: +852 2584 4145, Email: 
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