Industry future looks bright as Licensing China concluded last week
The concurrent Toy & Edu China, Baby & Stroller China and Licensing China fairs confirmed the strong optimism in these three domestic sectors, following a successful three-day run at the Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center last week. The fairs saw a substantial increase in visitors from last year, with 82,481 buyers (2020: 61,553) connecting with 1,413 exhibitors from 13 countries and regions from 30 March to 1 April. Online solutions were also available on the ‘E-connect 360’ digital platform to engage global industry players.
Industry players gathered at the three concurrent fairs against the backdrop of positivity towards China’s market prospects.
Speaking at the conclusion of the fairs, Ms Wendy Wen, Senior General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, commented: “After a challenging year in 2020, we are pleased to be able to continue hosting in-person events for the toy, baby product and licensing sectors following last August’s editions. Exhibitors reported strong momentum in the resilient domestic market as it continues to move forward in its recovery, with many praising the fairs’ strengths in providing valuable opportunities to capture the rebound, especially as Shenzhen is a core city for the Greater Bay Area initiative, and is well-known for technological innovation and manufacturing abilities. With global travel restrictions still in place, many international brands partook through their local offices this year, while the digital platform, with a range of online exhibition services including business matching and livestreaming, has become an important trade and networking tool for those unable to travel to Shenzhen.” Registered exhibitors and buyers can still access this platform after the fairs till the end of April.
She continued: “Pleasingly, the three fairs have shown growth in the exhibitor and visitor numbers even in this difficult time. New market opportunities are also emerging, with expanded product offerings such as children’s fashion and museum licensed products featuring at the fairs. And to assist exhibitors to capitalise on the evolving market demands, a number of VIP buyers, particularly from the e-commerce field, were invited to the fairs. With these buyers praising the high-quality of exhibitors and their comprehensive product coverage, the fairs have once again lived up to their reputation as a one-stop sourcing platform.”
Concurrent events offer education
The 2021 editions of Toy & Edu China, Baby & Stroller China and Licensing China also featured a series of seminars and conferences led by renowned industry experts from these three sectors. The topics zoomed in on the opportunities presented by e-commerce, the rise of domestic brands and resurgence of traditional elements, and more, providing attendees valuable insights to stay ahead of the Chinese market under the current climate.
“Toy & Edu China plays a significant role in the industry as it connects Chinese buyers with Hong Kong manufacturers who are developing their own brands and designs. They are here to showcase Hong Kong-made innovative products and grasp the potential presented in the Chinese market. We have been very busy so far with a lot of inquiries from visitors, so the result is very promising.”
Mr Ivan Ting, Chairman, Hong Kong Toys Council, Hong Kong
“The fair is an ideal platform for companies to get a foothold in the Greater Bay Area. From the customers’ responses on our new products, and also the pre-orders we have got, we are confident about the toy market. The pandemic did not have much impact on us; our domestic sales were down for the first few months of the outbreak, but since then they have rebounded significantly. There is still much potential in China as the country is focusing on the stimulation of internal circulation and demand.”
Mr Xingzhuan Ye, Sales Director, Dongguan Tai Tat Premier Commerce Ltd, China
“We’ve returned to the Toy & Edu China fair this year and we have noticed a rebound of customers. Holding the fair in Shenzhen allows us to come in contact with buyers from more diverse channels including early education institutes, gift companies and trade organisations for supermarkets and malls. The overall exhibiting result is better than we expected as we can gather with existing customers while meeting some new ones. As the pandemic has driven growth in toy sales, we are optimistic about the future prospects of the market.”
Mr Shane Auyeung, Sales Manager, Eastern Progress Company Ltd, Hong Kong
“We are here at Baby & Stroller China to explore new business opportunities especially with domestic distributors and the gift industry as we have focused more on the Chinese market over the past year. The visitor flow is higher compared to last year and we welcomed over 100 clients yesterday. Since the pandemic was contained in China we have seen rapid recovery in the baby product industry, and potential and positivity in the market can be forecast.”
Ms Pucca Liu, Founder, Guangzhou Fengcai Co. Ltd, China
“We are a first-time exhibitor at Licensing China and we want to introduce our licensing properties to a wider audience. We are overwhelmed by the flow of visitors, and have received a great number of inquiries with visitors in double digits showing clear intentions to work with us. As the fair is being held concurrently with Toy & Edu China and Baby & Stroller China, we can gain more exposure as potential customers from across different sectors are gathered here.”
Mr Jianhua Wu, Brand Director, Guangzhou Aifei Cultural Diffusion Co. Ltd, China
“We greatly value our businesses here in the Greater Bay Area as the region is one of the most economically vibrant in China. And Licensing China is the perfect marketplace for us to explore the opportunities the area has to offer by bringing together our potential customers, especially from the toy sector, for strategic partnerships. The domestic market is thriving with increased revenue streams, and we expect licensing will vastly expand into every category of our daily lives.”
Mr Hualin Li, General Manager, Teki Co. Ltd, China
“We are a cross-border e-commerce company and this is my first visit to Baby & Stroller China. I am very impressed by the scale of the fair. The fair is the perfect place to be if one wants to learn about the latest innovations and industry developments. I also joined the business matching service and have to give it 10 out of 10 as I found exactly what I am looking for with the help of the organisers. I will definitely place orders afterwards.”
Mr Vega Siu, Amazon Team Leader, Xcsource Group, Hong Kong
“I am here to source educational toys for our home shopping channel. Toy & Edu China is an influential platform and many quality toy manufacturers and brands from China and abroad are featured here. I am particularly impressed with the products from Qisehua and Hape, and will consider to cooperate with them. Amid the pandemic, the demand for educational toys has increased rapidly as children have to attend online classes, and brands are focussing on toys that aid their learning process.”
Mr Xin Wang, General Manager, Star Home Shopping, China
Extra precautions were in place to maintain hygiene onsite
The trade fair co-organisers’ top priority remains the health and safety of fair attendees, hence added measures were practiced at the fairs. These included real-name authentication during registration, onsite temperature checks, frequent sanitisation of fairground facilities and distancing measures for forum / seminar audiences, amongst others.
The next editions of Toy & Edu China, Baby & Stroller China and Licensing China fairs will take place at the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center, with the exact date to be announced later.
Toy & Edu China, Baby & Stroller China and Licensing China are organised by Guangdong Toy Association, Guangzhou Li Tong Messe Frankfurt Co Ltd and Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd.