The British Museum strengthens Chinese operations with Tmall and Afilo Brands

Tmall is China’s largest B2C platform for both international and Chinese brands and retailers. Through the partnership, Afilo will extend its development of licensed British Museums products with a variety of retail partners.
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The Chinese licensing firm Afilo BRands has detailed a new commercial partnership with the British Museum and Alibaba Group’s Business to consumer marketplace Tmall.

Tmall is China’s largest B2C platform for both international and Chinese brands and retailers. Through the partnership, Afilo will extend its development of licensed British Museums products with a variety of retail partners.

Afilo Brands will continue to operate the museum’s store on Tmall and collaborate with Tmall on marketing campaigns to promote the Museum’s products.

Roderick Buchanan, commercial director at the British Museum, said: “An important part of the Museum’s mission is developing new ways to share the British Museum with the rest of the world.

“We are delighted to be extending our work with Afilo Brands and Tmall to bring th wonders of the Museum to people across China through new product ranges and retail experiences.”

Since starting their work together in 2016, Afilo BRands has developed over 500 products inspired by the museum’s cultural intellectual property. As a result the British Museum now has the largest licensing programme in the cultural institution sector in China, with retail sales predicted to reach 350 million yuan ($51 million) this year.

Yizan He, founder and CEO of Afilo Brands, added: “Our approach is successful because we start from the latest global fashion and lifestyle trends, then carefully select museum artefacts from the museum to develop IP themes and libraries based on these insights.

“The IP themes and libraries we develop include rich content, such as narratives, prints and patterns that are inspired by the museum’s celebrated artefacts, such as the Rosetta Stone and Greek pottery.

‘These IP assets allow our retail partners to create new and often completely unique products that are attractive and aspirational to consumers, especially in China where heritage is a deeply appreciated quality. We are very excited to extend their exciting work stream with the museum and Tmall over the coming years.”

The new partnership was marked with a signing ceremony hosted in the British Museum on December 12th, attended by the museum’s chairman Sir Richard Lambert and senior executives from Tmall and Afilo Brands.

Bo Liu, president of marketing and operations at Tmall, said: “The British Museum’s rich heritage is famous all over the world. We are thrilled to enable more than 600 million annual active consumers on our CHina marketplaces to experience its iconic world-famous collections through products inspired by the Museum’s collection.

‘Thanks to this ground-breaking partnership, Chinese consumers will be able to enjoy their very own piece of the British Museum for the first time.” 

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