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Hong Kong International Licensing Show creates cross-industry business opportunities

  • The Hong Kong International Licensing Show and Asian Licensing Conference concluded today, having drawn some 320 exhibitors bringing more than 550 brands and licensing projects.
  • At the Asian Licensing Conference, some 30 representatives from the global licensing sector engaged in profound discussions on industry hot topics
  • Issues raised included the ever-evolving global industry trends, sustainable development, the empowering potential of generative AI, the emergence of new forces in licensing, and innovative marketing strategies.
  • Young brands featured through the Design Licensing and Business (DLAB) Support Scheme, while MS FATTY maker Plastic Thing Limited was showcased
  • HONG KONG, Apr 29, 2024 - (ACN Newswire) - The curtains fell on the annual flagship event of Asia's licensing industry, Hong Kong International Licensing Show (HKILS), today after the three-day event organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), drawing over 320 exhibitors and showcasing an extensive array of more than 550 brands and licensing projects.

    At the concurrent Asian Licensing Conference (ALC), some 30 esteemed global licensing leaders engaged in profound discussions on industry hot topics, including the ever-evolving global industry trends, sustainable development, the empowering potential of generative AI, the emergence of new forces in licensing, and innovative marketing strategies. The two events provided a platform for business development across regions and industries, creating business opportunities for participants and promoting the development of IP trading in the region.

    HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Dr Patrick Lau said: “Under the National 14th Five-Year Plan, Hong Kong has been supported by the Central Government to develop into a regional intellectual property (IP) trading centre. As an international business hub and sourcing platform, Hong Kong has been a trading centre for all types of IPs for many years, helping to promote the development of IP trading in the region. Licensing is an important part of IP trading and Hong Kong is one of the most developed and mature licensing markets in Asia. We are pleased to see that licensing has a wide range of applications and product categories, including not only the traditional characters, but also different areas such as arts, cultural and creative industries, sports and lifestyle sectors. Development of AI technologies will expand the quantity of creative digital content and generate enormous demand for and supply of branded, licensed content, further accelerating the already rapid growth of the industry.”

    This year ALC focused on legal risks brought by generative AI and the sustainable development of IP licensing.

    HKILS launched a new initiative “Reimagining The Classics”, which mesmerised attendees with the harmonious fusion of creative IP projects and renowned Hong Kong brands. Dr Lau emphasised that classic brands hold profound cultural value, and through strategic licensing partnerships, vitality can be injected into these iconic entities. “Reimagining The Classics” aimed to reignite boundless imagination for these timeless brands.

    Hong Kong as a key brand licensing platform

    The Design Licensing and Business (DLAB) Support Scheme also returned to HKILS this year, featuring 45 local brands with creative designs. On the other hand, Plastic Thing Limited, a Hong Kong-based company specialising in IP licensing, showcased their unique perspective as vibrant young brands. Their acclaimed IP MS FATTY has frequently collaborated with renowned institutions and shopping malls. Yip Kim Kwan, Director of Plastic Thing Limited, said: “HKILS provides a cost effective platform for young local brands to showcase their works to the world. These young brands have made significant contributions to the licensing industry in Hong Kong, and in recent years, there has been a growing number of creators entering the industry.” During the three-day exhibition, Mr Yip said they have received numerous inquiries from potential buyers and are already in discussions for collaborations. "The responses from buyers have been very positive, and we are currently following up on the details."

    Hong Kong serves as a bridge for the licensing industry in the world. Witnessing a surge in local brand development and licensing projects, the city has also attracted numerous international licensors and licensing agents to set up offices in Hong Kong. Moreover, renowned global licensors have been keen to partner with Hong Kong-based licensing agents, leveraging their expertise to unlock business opportunities across Asia.

    Prominent HKILS exhibitor CAA Brand Management specialises in facilitating the expansion of diverse brands across various consumer-product categories and geographic regions. Elaine Chiu, Executive Vice President of the group, said: “Hong Kong provides an effective platform for licensing professionals and clients from diverse Asian countries to connect and foster meaningful exchanges. This exhibition has been instrumental in our exploration of diverse business opportunities, which are currently in the negotiation phase. These opportunities span various sectors, including trendy collectible models and experiential activities, which align closely with the primary target audience of CAA.”

    Shusaku Watanabe, Manager of Chocolate Inc., a buyer from Japan appreciated the business platform HKILS creates. He said: “Through business matching services arranged by HKTDC, I met and identified a variety of new IPs from Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. I am going to explore collaboration with them for the Japanese market.”

    Art and cultural Licensing continue to expand

    This year’s HKILS once again welcomed Raistlin Lau, Hong Kong SAR Under Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, as the guest of honour at the opening ceremony. During his address, he stated: “With our proximity to the Mainland, and strategic location at the heart of Asia, Hong Kong has been affirmed by many international licensors, and licensing as the strategic base for expanding their businesses in Asia and a launch pad to tap into the Mainland market. We welcome all licensing professionals to utilise the business expansion platform offered by the HKILS to not only establish contacts but also exchange ideas and thoughts behind innovation.”

    The importance of art and cultural licensing continues to rise and become an undeniable global trend. Museum-inspired creative products utilising cultural assets have become significant business opportunities globally in recent years.

    Sichuan Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism brought more than 30 intangible cultural heritage, and cultural and creativity unit from across the province to the HKILS, showcasing more than 100 IP licensing projects and exchanging with exhibitors and buyers from all over the world. Some exhibitors have reached licensing deals with an amount of more than RMB3 million

    In the ever-evolving realm of creativity, visionary creators not only revolutionise the licensing industry with their innovative ideas and forms but also strive to unravel the secrets to commercialise and market their creative endeavours. Anita Tantasirin, Director and Co-founder of Arwama Company Limited, shared her invaluable insights during the Licensing Academy session of ALC, shedding light on how licensing can unlock a plethora of business opportunities. With conviction, she stated: “We have encountered various potential clients at the exhibition, primarily from Asia. We have engaged with chain stores and malls and are also open to collaborations with hotels, theme parks and exhibitions. Although we expect the industry future will be challenging, passion is the key to the IP’s success"

    Photo download:

    Dr Patrick Lau, Deputy Executive Director, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (centre) and Raistlin Lau, Hong Kong SAR Under Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism (second from right) officiated the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong International Licensing Show and the Asian Licensing Conference on Saturday (27 April).

    This year’s Hong Kong International Licensing Show showcased more than 550 brands and licensing projects, featuring top global licensors and licensing agents

    Plastic Thing Limited participated in the Hong Kong International Licensing Show and Director Yip Kim Kwan together with the operators of rising Asian IPs spoke at the Asian Licensing Conference to discuss strategies for unlocking opportunities through licensing.

    The Asian Licensing Conference session China Opportunity centred around mutually beneficial developments between China and the world, while exploring the potential and licensing opportunities in the cultural industry.

    The Hong Kong International Licensing Show featured pavilions from different countries and regions, including the Japan Pavilion.


    Hong Kong International Licensing Show:
    Asian Licensing Conference:
    HKTDC Media Room:

    Media enquiries
    For more information, please contact Raconteur:
    Molisa Lau, Tel: (852) 6187 7786, Email:
    Betsy Tse, Tel: (852) 9742 7338, Email:

    The HKTDC's Communications and Public Affairs Department:
    Katy Wong, Tel: (852) 2584 4524, Email:

    About HKTDC

    The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong's trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn


    Source: HKTDC

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