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Licensing China return in early April to meet surging demand

Licensing China return in early April to meet surging demand

The dates are set: south China’s leading trade fairs for toys, baby and licensing products will return to the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center next year from 7 to 9 April, it has been announced. The fairs will again form an all-in-one platform for businesses from these three interrelated industries to connect and establish cooperation amid positive signs in the Chinese toy market, which is showing steady growth and development that is expected to continue into the long term.

Ms Wilmet Shea, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd expressed: “After overcoming many challenges to successfully hold the three shows in 2022, we are looking ahead with confidence to another productive gathering next year. This comprehensive event will be the first major trading platform for toys and related products to kick off the sourcing season in Mainland China. New products and innovative ideas from an impressive line-up of exhibitors showcasing toys, baby and maternity goods as well as licenced products can be expected at the platform in April.”

Increasing demand as ‘designer toys’ capture attention
According to data provided by the Guangdong Toy Association, in 2021 consumption of traditional toys in China was estimated at around USD 11.2 billion, and this amount reached over USD 14.4 billion if the trending toy sector is also taken into account[1]. The numbers are a strong reflection of the confidence that many industry experts have expressed about demand in the Chinese toy market.

One of the key reasons for the boost in demand is the ease of China’s fertility policy. China had a population of 263 million people aged 15 or below in 2021[2], with this number expected to take a big leap forward following the implementation of the two-child and three-child policies. With more young toy users forming a bigger market in the coming years, combined with increased spending following a nearly 8% rise in gross national income in 2021[3], the industry is expected to reach new heights.

Millennials and younger generations are no strangers to blind boxes and assembly toys. These highly entertaining designer or trending toys have become the latest craze among children, teenagers, as well as adults who are young at heart. Figures from a mainland consulting company ASKCI indicate that the size of China’s trending toys market was close to USD 5 billion in 2021, with blind boxes and assembly toys carving out the biggest shares at 28% and 23% respectively[4]. In addition to this, according to a research report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the designer toy market is anticipated to reach RMB 47.8 billion this year[5].

A Toy & Edu China exhibitor from the 2022 show, Mr Guoyao Chen, Regional Director of the Shanghai Blocks Group, agrees with this encouraging assessment: “As blind boxes are now becoming more popular, there will be more toys made targeting adults and higher age groups. This will create a bigger market for the sector.”

2023 editions set to exemplify ‘Greater Play’ in ‘Greater Bay’ motto
Nearly 1,400 exhibitors from nine countries and regions exhibited at Toy & Edu China, Baby & Stroller China and Licensing China in 2022, with the fairground welcoming 50,437 buyers from a total of 28 regions during the three-day show period from 18 to 20 August.

With the concurrent fairs returning to the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center next year, and under the theme “Greater Bay, Greater Play”, they will once again enjoy great geographical advantages in attracting cross-border e-commerce businesses and buyers from the city to source for export products.

A Shenzhen based cross-border e-commerce retailer, Mr Zhang Binbin, General Manager of Shenzhen Xiaofan E-commercial Co Ltd, visited the 2022 show and shared his sourcing experience: “Many leading toy companies in the Greater Bay Area as well as international toy brands are gathered here at Toy & Edu China. It’s easy for us to select toy products at the physical fair with the price points and quality that meet our requirements.”

Exhibitors and buyers who were unable to attend the 2022 shows were still able to participate through the digital E-connect 360 platform, where they could match and network with global suppliers and clients at or away from the shows. Here are some key figures:

  • A total interaction rate of more than 121,000 (including website, photo impression and click rate).
  • Over 2,900 logins on the platform, with a response rate of 90%.
  • More than 350 meetings and online chat connections between buyers and exhibitors.
  • Users from 24 countries and regions, with Hong Kong, Malaysia and the USA having the most active users.
  • A 90% attendance rate at the business matching service onsite.

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 from 7 to 9 April 2023.

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. For more information, please visit:

About The Author

Rebecca Ash

Rebecca is the Editorial Director at Total Licensing Ltd. She can be reached at

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