Jan 18, 2023
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Playboy inks China joint venture

Jan 18, 2023

PLBY Group Inc. announced on Tuesday it has inked a deal with Charactopia Licensing to form Playboy China, a joint venture that will jointly own and operate Playboy's consumer products business in the China market.


The Los Angeles-based company said the new Playboy China joint venture will focus on reinvigorating all aspects of the China-market Playboy apparel business, including online and offline retail strategies, product design and assortment, and brand marketing to its multi-generational audience.

Based in Shanghai, the joint venture team will look to build on Playboy’s current roster of licensees and online storefronts by adding new partners and growing through new product categories yet to be developed in China with the Playboy brand.

The venture will be governed by a board of directors that includes representatives from both Playboy and Charactopia, owned by brand management company, Fung Retailing, with Playboy retaining majority ownership, which is valued by the partners at $250 million.

“The Playboy China joint venture continues PLBY’s evolution from a traditional licensing model to a selectively owned and operated business model to maximize the value of the Playboy brand across our businesses,” said Ben Kohn, CEO of PLBY Group. “Through this joint venture, the Playboy business in China will benefit from a best-in-class operating team with Charactopia, and from the relationship with the Fung Group.”

Playboy has operated as a licensed brand in China for the past 30 years, becoming a major men’s and women’s apparel and accessories brand in the Asian market, added Fung Retailing.

“With the foundation Playboy has built in China through licensing, combined with its brand activation and product design connecting Playboy with a new generation of consumers around the world, now is the right time for an in-country operations team here in China,” said Brian Lee, executive director of Fung Retailing.

“With this new structure and our experienced on-the-ground operating team, the Playboy business is poised for accelerated growth across product and lifestyle categories in this key market.”

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