Alibaba’s Alex Tsai Highlights the Growth of Licensing in China

Week two of Festival of Licensing kicked off with a keynote from Alibaba’s Alex Tsai, who discussed licensing’s rise in China.
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License Global

October 14, 2020


In an insightful keynote, Alex Tsai, head of partnerships and licensing, Americas and Asia, Alibaba, detailed the growing licensing industry in China, and discussed how Alibaba is helping licensees and licensors break into the market.

In “How Alibaba Enables Global Licensors and Licensees for the Fast-Growing Greater China Market,” Tsai shared China’s licensing market statistics. According to the Alibaba report, licensing is currently a $14 billion market with a 15 percent growth, year-over-year (compared to the global average of 3.3 percent), and ranks No. 4 globally in retail sales in licensing in 2019.

“What is most interesting is the untapped potential of this market,” says Tsai.

Tsai also reports that top licensing categories in China are entertainment/character, art and fashion, but licensed IP from the U.S., China and Japan also do well in the region.

In 2021, Alibaba predicts growth in cross IP collaborations, location-based entertainment, genuine products and original creations of

content and IP in the Chinese domestic market.

“We see content and IP in the Chinese domestic market at a rapid speed with Chinese markets and licensors,” says Tsai. “They will be able to understand and develop their original content for the domestic market.”

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