Playboy and Charactopia Announce Joint Venture in China

Venture will operate Playboy-branded consumer products business in China to accelerate growth.
License Global

January 20, 2023

PLBY Group logo, incorporating the Playboy bunny.
PLBY Group logo.PLBY Group

PLBY Group, a pleasure and leisure lifestyle company and owner of

Playboy

, and Charactopia Licensing Limited, have announced an agreement to form “Playboy China,” a joint venture that will own and operate the Playboy-branded consumer products business in parts of the China market. 

The joint venture will focus on reinvigorating the Playboy apparel business, including online and offline retail strategies, product design and brand marketing to its multi-generational audience. A Shanghai-based team will look to build on Playboy’s current roster of licensees and online storefronts by adding new partners and growing through new product categories. 

“The Playboy China joint venture continues PLBY’s evolution from a traditional licensing model to a selectively owned and operated business model to maximize the value of the Playboy brand across our businesses,” says Ben Kohn, chief executive officer, PLBY Group. “Through this joint venture, the Playboy business in China will benefit from a best-in-class

operating team with Charactopia, and from the relationship with the Fung Group.” 

Playboy will retain majority ownership of the Playboy China joint venture. 

“With the foundation Playboy has built in China through licensing, combined with its brand activation and product design connecting Playboy with a new generation of consumers around the world, now is the right time for an in-country operations team here in China,” says Brian Lee, executive director, Fung Retailing. “With this new structure and our experienced on-the-ground operating team, the Playboy business is poised for accelerated growth across product and lifestyle categories in this key market.” 

PLBY Group expects to begin operations of the joint venture in the first quarter of this year. 

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