Shanghai hosts major licensing industry event

Yao Minji
At the China Licensing Expo 2020, experts and insiders discussed new opportunities in the fast-growing local market.
Yao Minji

China Licensing Expo 2020 was held in Shanghai over the weekend, open with a summit co-hosted by License Global and Huangpu District. Nearly 20 policymakers and licensing industry experts shared their insights regarding over 500 relevant industries.

“The licensing industry is one of the key elements of our cultural and tourism industry development during the 14th Five-Year Plan,” said Yang Dongsheng, deputy director of Huangpu.

“We are currently implementing some relevant national policies, while furthering our construction of licensing and trading platforms, hoping to attract more organizations and companies in the industry to settle in our district. We hope to build a great industry ecosystem to help with innovative integration of licensing industry with other key industries such as tourism, eSports and technology.”

According to reports from License Global, global sales revenue of licensing products and services reached US$292.8 billion in 2019. In China, the industry is young and one of the fastest-growing in the world, with 2019 revenue of US$10.4 billion, up by nearly 10 percent from the previous year.

Currently, China accounts for less than 4 percent of global market share, with a huge potential as the world’s second-largest consumption market.

The international exposition has been held for over 40 years, and the China expo, now in the fourth year, is among the largest in the world. The summit, a key parallel event of the expo, explored topics including global industry trends, licensing ecosystem with an Internet-plus strategy, new marketing strategies amidst consumption revolution, among others.

One of the most-discussed topics is reinventing Chinese brand and their potential in licensing products and services.

“A lot of people are talking about turning made-in-China into innovated-in-China,” said Chen Yuhao, COO of 890 Cultural Company, best known for its online program hosted by Wu Xiaobo, one of China’s best-selling financial writers.

The company recently launched a project to reinvent Chinese craftsmen and traditional brands with a team led by Chen.

“Increasingly more people acknowledge the new potential for traditional cultural brands, especially with the success of products by Forbidden Palace. 

"Many used to say that licensing is a very international business, meaning you bring an international best-seller to China and it ought to succeed. But the current consumer market in China is actually not far from the US market, and it will likely become the largest in the foreseeable future, creating spaces and opportunities for many products including those licensed from traditional cultural brands.”

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