Jan 11, 2021
Licensing Show and Conference held online next week

In light of the continuing global pandemic, the 19th HKTDC Hong Kong International Licensing Show (HKILS) and 10th Asian Licensing Conference (ALC), both organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), will run as online events from Jan. 11-15 2021.

The two events will feature representatives from top global brands and renowned industry elites, sharing their insights on linking creativity with businesses during a time of pandemic, discovering business opportunities through licensed properties and brand partnerships, and showcasing licensed products and services to encourage creativity amid the current challenges.

Speaking at a press conference to introduce the two events, Stephen Liang, HKTDC Assistant Executive Director, said: “Global retail sales of licensed merchandise reached US$293 billion in 2019, showing annual growth of 4.4%. As the world’s third-largest licensing market, Asia accounted for 12% of the global share of sales. Mainland China, with a 9.6% year-on-year increase, was the second largest market in Asia. We expect that the Asian and mainland markets will continue to be growth engines for the licensing industry.”

Mr Liang said the virtual Licensing Show has attracted 250 exhibitors from around the globe, including top global licensors/agents, renowned brands, and IPs from Hong Kong and Asia. He added that the Virtual Business Matching Service offered through HKILS Online will be in high demand by companies from various sectors that are keen to explore cooperation through suitable intellectual properties (IPs). “The licensing industry has shown great flexibility in operations and forged partnerships that have enabled companies to stand out during the pandemic. The Licensing Show has attracted participants from a broad range of industries, including companies producing personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning and hygiene products, online shopping and retailing kitchenware, gaming and furniture, helping them to capture licensing opportunities amid the current volatility,” he said.

PPE opens up new avenues for companies

Though the pandemic has affected almost all industries, numerous business opportunities have been created under the “new normal”, including using IPs for products such as masks and protective materials. The Mainetti Group, an Italian manufacturer and supplier of garment hangers and product packaging, has launched MainettiCare, a new range of personal protective equipment (PPE) to help mitigate risks associated with COVID-19. At the press conference, Paul Tai, Regional Director of Mainetti Group, showcased the company’s “Made in Hong Kong” disposable masks, produced in collaboration with local manufacturers, and highlighted its partnerships with B.Duck and Astro Boy to launch licensed masks.

Matrix, a corporate and promotion gift supplier, has been working closely with international brands on licensed products and services, including partnerships with Barbie and Peanuts to launch branded gifts. Ray Leung, Managing Director of Matrix, said the company has designed exclusive PPE gifts for corporations during the pandemic, selling almost 2.7 million units of hand sanitizer to local customers.

Through its website, GiftU, the company has become an e-commerce pioneer in the gift sector. Its “Funhub” service allows corporations to customize their gifts using IPs created by local illustrators. “During the pandemic, numerous markets and fairs go online, people start using e-commerce under the new normal; Funhub has thus been launched, allowing clients and cartoon fans to customize their products. This is the first time Matrix participates in the Licensing Show, we hope to build partnership with local illustrators, designing more customized gifts for different corporates,” he said.

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