Alibaba’s Tmall Introduces Intellectual Property Trading Platform IPmart

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LONDON — In a move that enables China’s largest b-to-c e-commerce platform Tmall to move up the value chain and gain a bigger role in the increasingly lucrative fashion and lifestyle collaboration market, the site on Wednesday revealed the launch of IPmart, an intellectual property trading platform.

According to Alimama, Alibaba’s marketing subsidiary, IPmart consists of IP Copyright Center, IP Contract Center, IP Eco Alliance, and IP Operation Center. The platform provides merchants with operational tools, including IP selection, licensing transaction, product development, and marketing.

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The platform will also be equipped with blockchain technology from Ant Group to solve trust and counterfeit problems during the licensing transactions.

A spokesperson from Tmall Fashion said the platform will enable China’s emerging creators and brands to “find business opportunities and support the realization of their dreams.”

As Chinese consumers are increasingly looking for items that can showcase their personalities, hobbies, and aesthetic choices, collaborations that involved IP transactions increased by 60 percent on Tmall last year, the platform’s newly released “2021 Tmall Fashion White Paper” revealed.

The report also predicts that IP licensing will be a key driver of China’s new retail concepts in 2021. It said the Chinese IP licensing market reached 99.2 billion yuan in 2019 and is expected to exceed 100 billion renminbi, or $15.37 billion, in 2020.

It also revealed in the report that the top 10 Chinese IPs in 2020 were B.Duck; The Palace Museum; Dunhuang Academy China; the reality show “Youth With You;” Popmart; Shan Hai Jing, a Chinese classic compilation of mythic geography and beasts; reality show “Fourtry;” educational TV program “National Treasure;” National Museum of China, and online game Honor of Kings.

Other popular IPs in China include Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty, Paul Frank, Tom and Jerry, Mulan, NBA, Gundam, Pokemon, NASA, Dragon Ball, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Marvel, Coca-Cola, and Sesame Street.