Asian Licensing Conference: China tops the world licensing growth chart

China has now been highlighted as a significant driver of the global licensing industry with sales growing by 5.8 per cent to $31.6 billion and accounting for 11.6 per cent of the world total.
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China is topping the world growth chart with a 10.3 per cent increase in sales of licensed product compared to the year prior, according to reports from this week’s Asian Licensing Conference.

The conference kicked off on January 7th and will run for two days at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibitions Centre with a series of sessions focused on the fast-growing Asia and mainland China markets.

China has now been highlighted as a significant driver of the global licensing industry with sales growing by 5.8 per cent to $31.6 billion and accounting for 11.6 per cent of the world total, it was revealed in a session on the sector’s rapid growth in the region.

Shifting economics and 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.

A plenary session at the Conference, titled Asia: Gold Mine in Licensing, delved into the latest market trends in Asia, analysing the key issues and sharing successful formulas for tapping into the Asia market.

Vikram Sharma, vice president, Cartoon Network Enterprises, Turner International Asia Pacific, said that lifestyles in Asia are becoming increasingly digital and widespread use of social media is creating strong licensing opportunities in emerging markets.

“Asia is the land of stories where characters have built strong emotional connections and bonding with regional consumers,” he said. “Moreover, character properties can go beyond licensed consumer products into other sectors, such as licensed location-based entertainments, cafes and exhibitions.”

Rounding of the first day was a workshop covering the Legal and Intellectual Property Issues of Licensing, at which legal professionals and experts with experience of the Asian market, and mainland China, shared the IP protection and contractual issues faced in handling the growing number of entertainment, content and digital IPs.

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Accounting for 20 per cent of the total value, Europe weighs in with a value of £38.8bn, lead by the UK, Germany, France and Italy. The figure comes in at under half the value of the US and Canadian markets which account for 58 per cent of the global total at £112.6bn.

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