left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Christie's to operate on the mainland without local partner

Updated: 2013-04-11 16:00
By Wang Zhuoqiong ( China Daily)

Christie's International PLC, one of the two largest global auction houses for fine arts, said it will become the first international auction company to operate on the Chinese mainland without a local partner.

The company, which was established 247 years ago, said it won a license to hold auctions in Shanghai starting this fall.

Steven Murphy, the company's chief executive officer, said in a statement that the move makes Christie's the first international auction house able to directly conduct auctions in China under its own brand, and will allow it to offer collectors a more direct access to its global network and expertise.

"The art market continues to grow at a tremendous rate due to the burgeoning interest in art, particularly in Asia and China," said Murphy.

China has become one of the largest and fastest-growing art markets in the world.

The country has now been the leading global market for three years in a row, according to an Artprice annual report.

However, according to the law on the Protection of Cultural Relics, foreign auction houses or joint ventures can't sell cultural relics, which are a major revenue driver in the art market.

The number of clients from the Chinese mainland bidding at Christie's global auctions has doubled since 2008, the company said. The growing Chinese client base participates increasingly in auctions held in Christie's centers in London, New York, Hong Kong and Paris.

The company's decision to operate on the mainland without a local partner shows the confidence and determination of foreign auctioneers to expand their presence and cultivate relationships with local collectors and buyers, said Ji Tao, a researcher with the Central University of Finance and Economics.

The moves by foreign companies to deepen their presence in the Chinese art market are expected to boost the release of new policies and legislation to open up the market to international firms, Ji said.

The researcher added that foreign players are expected to bring international practices to the domestic auction market and stimulate the confidence of dealers and collectors.


Christie's to operate on the mainland without local partner

Christie's to operate on the mainland without local partner

New auction record set for Kangxi porcelain

Top 10 Chinese painters and western artists

Cornering the market 

Falling sales paint a bleak picture for China's art market 

Chinese fine art feels the pinch

Reinvigorating ink painting

Sotheby's Asian art sale moves into new territory

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page