Japanese entertainment company Sanrio and Alibaba Picture’s intellectual property (IP) licensing platform Alifish will launch fresh content for the Chinese market, executives shared at the Sanrio 2023 Licensee Conference last month in Hangzhou.
The conference, attended by around 800 licensees as well as business representatives from both groups, was held on the Alibaba Group campus in southern China.
Alifish holds exclusive rights to manufacture and sell consumer products featuring 26 of Sanrio’s most popular characters in the mainland, according to a five-year master license agreement that came into effect earlier this year.
“In addition to IP licensing and product development, Alifish will introduce and develop IP content, as well as integrate e-commerce resource marketing,” Wu Qian, Vice President of Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group and President of Alifish, said in a statement.
This includes new products featuring Hello Kitty, who will celebrate her 50th anniversary in 2024, as well as other fan favorites like Cinnamoroll and Kuromi.
Last year, Kuromi soared in popularity in the mainland after an influencer shared outfit ideas inspired by her. She is the love-hate bestie of My Melody.
The tie-up has made it easier for consumers to buy products featuring their favorite characters while Sanrio and Alifish look to ride this wave of interest in 2023.
“This year’s content and marketing activities will be more exciting,” said Joy Wei, General Manager of Sanrio China, in the same release.
Hello Kitty’s Golden Jubilee
Next year, one of Sanrio’s first creations will mark a major milestone when her 50th anniversary rolls around.
Hello Kitty, whose full name is Kitty White, was created in 1974 and lives in London with her parents and twin sister, according to her Sanrio biography.
She has become a cultural icon worldwide. Hello Kitty was named a children’s ambassador for UNICEF in 1994 and in 2008, she became Japan’s official tourism ambassador to China.
Alifish and Sanrio will celebrate this history with a series of celebration activities kicking off in November as part of the Hello Kitty 50th Anniversary Exhibition.
“We will launch a number of IP-integrated marketing activities throughout the year, and start a new long-term project of co-branding with artists,” said Wei.
Hello Kitty isn’t the only one with something to celebrate. 2023 is also a big year for ‘lazy egg’ Gudetama, who will have his 10th anniversary.