Published on : Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the 17th edition of the HKTDC 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 (7-9 Jan) attracted a record attendance of more than 23,000 visitors from about 100 countries and regions. The event ran concurrently with the eighth Asian Licensing Conference (7-8 Jan), featuring some 30 speakers from renowned brands and global licensing experts.
Rapid Market Growth Drives Industry Forward
Speaking at the opening ceremony on Monday, 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.
Ms Fong noted that the licensing industry has been showing an upward trend, with global sales of licensed products reaching US$271 billion in 2017, an increase of 3.3% on the previous year. The regional story was even more impressive, with sales growing by 5.8% to US$31.6 billion and accounting for 11.6% of the world total. She added 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.
Conference Unveils New Esports and Content Licensing Opportunities
Nancy Jiang, General Manager, Licensing, iQIYI, said: “iQIYI started business running an online video platform. We widened our business scope to develop our own content properties and build our own licensing business out of them. Our flagship competition show – The Rap of China – features the street culture of Mainland China. It has become a cultural icon of the country and the IP is generating licensing revenue for iQIYI.”
Jai Wu, Head of LPL Merchandise & Licensing, Riot Games China, explained that Mainland China is now the largest esports market globally – and still rising. The mainland had 250 million esports users in 2018, after esports revenue totalled US$760 million in 2017. “We have launched a wide variety of licensing programmes, including comics, novels and a reality TV show. We are developing our esports business through cross-platform and cross-sector cooperation,” said Mr Wu.