Visitors take photographs of Chinese cartoon characters, Xiyangyang (Happy Sheep) and Huitailang (Gray Wolf), created by Alpha Group at a toy exhibition in Shanghai.XING YUN/CHINA DAILY
Alpha Group has become a major player in China when it comes to the intellectual property rights industry.
The entertainment and toy company has expanded rapidly to meet domestic and overseas demand for licensed products.
"Alpha's IP (intellectual property) licensing business has enjoyed sustainable growth and the company hopes to develop it further," said Seven Wang, executive assistant to the president and public relations director of Alpha Group Co Ltd.
Wang declined to speculate on Alpha's earnings from image rights this year, but she made it clear that IP licensing was now a massive business.
The animation group listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2009 and has signed contracts with more than 200 licensing companies so far this year, a rise of 50 percent compared to 2016.
Clients include brand names such as major dairy group Yili, supermarket chain BuBuGao, food giant Heinz Co and Johnson's baby products, part of healthcare conglomerate Johnson & Johnson.
Alpha has also moved into the hospitality sector after building a theme-based hotel with Home Inn in Shanghai earlier this year.
"The growing number of IP licensing companies have helped Alpha increase its sales and presence at home and abroad," Wang said.
Alpha's animations are broadcast in more than 100 countries and regions around the world.
Released in 2015, Superwings features brightly colored cuddly airplanes and is shown in more than 90 countries and regions across five continents.
The television cartoon series is aimed at preschool children and has high audience ratings in the United States, Europe and Southeast Asia.
Sales of Superwings related products, including those from IP licensing, have now reached more than $1 billion worldwide.
Spurred on by this success story, Alpha plans to release a new IP animation, Katuri, about an heroic hen.
The cartoon will be aimed at preschool children between the ages of 2 to 5.
As one of China's biggest toy manufacturers, Alpha sold more than 100 million products globally last year.
Earnings were more than 1.93 billion yuan ($287.7 million), an increase of about 20 percent compared to the same period in 2015, Wang confirmed.
Alpha has now established multi-marketing channels with leading retail companies such as Amazon.com Inc, Walmart and Target Corp.
"To this end, Alpha has planned to construct a new toy factory in Indonesia next year," Wang said.