ART DEAL­ERS, AUC­TION­EERS LOOK ON­LINE FOR GROWTH

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS -

Art deal­ers and auc­tion­eers have de­vel­oped a lik­ing for on­line dis­tri­bu­tion plat­forms.

Chi­nese e-com­merce gi­ant Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd en­tered the art mar­ket in 2013, through its busi­nessto-cus­tomer plat­form Tmall.com.

GomeElec­tri­cal Ap­pli­ances Hold­ing Ltd, one of China’s largest home ap­pli­ance re­tail­ers, launched an on­line art sales plat­form called gomeart.comin the sec­ond half of last year.

It’s cur­rently of­fer­ing about 1,000 items of Chi­nese tra­di­tional paint­ing and cal­lig­ra­phy from­some150 artists.

An­other home elec­tron­ics re­tail gi­ant, Sun­ingCom­merce GroupCo Ltd, launched an on­line art sales plat­form, paimai.sun­ing.com, in Novem­ber. It pro­vides a wider range of items thanGomeby virtue of a co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment with yid­i­anchina.com, an art in­for­ma­tion por­tal­web­site.

Yid­i­anchina.comwas set up at the end of 2012, and it be­gan to serve as an in­ter­me­di­ary in 2013, in­te­grat­ing pro­fes­sional art auc­tion houses and on­line art re­tail­ers.

Trans­ac­tions achieved through yid­i­anchina.co­mat taobao.comhave ex­ceeded 4 mil­lion eu­ros ($5.4 mil­lion), ac­cord­ing to the Euro­pean Fine Art Foun­da­tion.

“There’s been a sig­nif­i­cant rise in the on­line sales of art in China since 2010, and young buy­ers who are used to on­line shop­ping, are the ma­jor clients,” saidXu Xiaol­ing, China rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the foun­da­tion.

Many­web­sites deal­ing with the sales of art have emerged over the past three years. Most of them fo­cus on the­work of com­par­a­tively young con­tem­po­rary artists in the first-tier art mar­ket, with in­di­vid­ual items usu­ally priced be­low10,000 eu­ros, ac­cord­ing to the foun­da­tion’s 2014 re­port.

In 2013, on­line art plat­forms gen­er­ated sales of 2.5 bil­lion eu­ros, al­most 5 per­cent of the global art mar­ket sales. De­spite the small share, it’s ex­pected that this sec­tor will growat a 25 per­cent rate an­nu­ally, reach­ing 10 bil­lion eu­ros by the end of 2020, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Other top global fine art auc­tion­eers also see the on­line chan­nel as hav­ing great po­ten­tial.

Lon­don-based Christie’s In­ter­na­tional Plc of­fi­cially launched its on­line-only busi­ness in 2013. Forty­five per­cent of buy­ers on the on­line plat­formwere newto Christie’s, with reg­is­trants from­more than 100 na­tions, ac­cord­ing to its fi­nan­cial re­port.

The In­ter­net is a key en­gine in at­tract­ing new­buy­ers and in­creas­ing global ac­ces­si­bil­ity of au­then­ti­cated art and lux­ury goods, said the auc­tion house gi­ant.

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