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Merlin Announces New Music Licensing Pact With JOOX

The indie music licensing company Merlin has just announced a new partnership, this time with the makers of the music app JOOX, owned by Chinese parent company TenCent. JOOX is a new strategic partner that gives Merlin members access to new audiences in Asia, including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand, as well as South Africa. The agreement between the parties licenses Merlin content via JOOX’s ad-supported and premium tiers, as well as its karaoke feature and library. The music streaming company says it’s thrilled to work with Merlin, bringing a vast new library of unique content to its users across Asia and South Africa. “JOOX always strives to bring users a wide range of music entertainment content from around the globe in different languages and genres, catering… . . . read more

China Continues Attack on Western Brands

By Gary Symons Editor in Chief Under attack by Western countries and some corporations over its treatment of the minority Muslim Uyghur population in the province of Xingiang, China has been lashing out at European and North American luxury brands over the past week, and took another shot at British fashion firm Burberry. The company, like H&M, Nike, and others, had suggested that cotton from the Xingiang region is problematic, and took a public stance to ban Xingiang cotton from any of its products. That did not go over well in Beijing, where the government has vowed to hit back against its critics. This week, Burberry was removed as a licensed partner from the overwhelmingly popular Chinese video game Honor of Kings. If you haven’t heard of the game, then… . . . read more

Beijing Lashes Out at Western Fashion Brands

WAR OF WORDS OVER HUMAN RIGHTS SPILLS OVER INTO LICENSING, AS CHINA HITS BACK AGAINST H&M, ADIDAS, NIKE, AND MORE Stung by accusations of human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region, Beijing is lashing out at Western fashion brands that have criticized the Chinese government. Already, Chinese state TV has called for a boycott of the Swedish retailer H&M, following sanctions by Western governments on Chinese officials accused of taking part in human rights abuses against the Uyghur people of Xinjiang. Some Chinese celebrities, like singer-actors Wang Yibo and Eason Chan (pictured), have begun cutting ties with Western companies. Chan, for example, has faced a backlash from fans in China after stepping down as a celebrity ambassador for Adidas. Wang similarly stepped down as brand ambassador for Nike, saying he… . . . read more

MDR Brand Management Extends Reach Into Asia with Click! Acquisition

MDR Brand Management has acquired a leading Asia brand management company, CLICK! Licensing Asia Inc., creating the most comprehensive pan-Asian solution for brand owners and their intellectual property assets. The strategic acquisition adds to MDR Brand Management’s existing Asian presence and follows its recent opening of three new offices in India. MDR Brand Management now operates in 25 locations around the world, with its global HQ in London. “Alongside the newly opened offices in India, this acquisition successfully completes phase one of our expansion strategy and enables us to deliver the most expansive brand management platform across the whole of Asia,” said Daniel Avener, CEO of MDR Brand Management. “We are delighted to welcome the CLICK! team to the MDR family, bringing an incredible range and breadth of experience across… . . . read more

TikTok Makes Monetization Move with Partner Shopify

The hugely popular and – in the US at least – politically controversial social media platform TikTok pulled off a huge move this week in its quest to monetize the rapidly growing brand.  TikTok’s short, user-generated videos have been the single most popular social media innovation of the past two years, with millions of users and viewers signing on in just months.  Less welcome for TikTok was the attention of US President Donald Trump, who saw the Chinese-owned platform as a security threat to US citizens.  Clearly, many US and Western corporations don’t agree, as businesses large and small have rushed to partner with the rapidly growing user-generated video platform. Now TikTok and the Canadian ecommerce giant Shopify have launched a new “compatibility project” which allows small business owners to… . . . read more

Worldwide

Top Licensed Retail Sales Figures to Have On-hand in the New Year

While TLL is crunching the official stats for 2019 over the next month, here are some figures and trends we’re tracking for next year…


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Asia

Licensed Retail Sales Jump 4.5% in 2018 in Asia; China Adds $750 Million Alone

Licensed retail sales reached $22.3 billion in 2018 in Asia, according to The Licensing Letter. The total was up 4.5% from the previous year, adding just over $950 million compared to 2017…


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Asia

Olympics Help Propel 4.0% Boost in South Korea Licensed Retail Sales

Retail sales of licensed merchandise jumped 4.0% to reach $443 million in 2018, according to The Licensing Letter…


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Share of Retail Sales of Licensed Merchandise, by Property Type, Asia

Retail Sales of Licensed Merchandise, by Property Type, Asia


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