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Chinese art market rises as the West drops back

By Anna Brady

A Sotheby's auction

Half-year results: China rises as Western sales drop back | Despite the country’s stock market crash last summer, have named China ‘the world’s largest art marketplace’ in a new study. This comes in a week that, as widely reported, Chinese insurer Taikang has amassed a 13.5 per cent stake in Sotheby’s, making it the dominant shareholder. (Chen Dongsheng, the grandson-in-law of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong and Taikang’s CEO and chairman, is also founder and president of the China Guardian auction house as well as deputy chairman of the China Auction Association.)

Through analysis of first half 2016 auction results, Artprice deduced China accounted for $2.32 billion (35.5 per cent) of the estimated $6.53 billion global sales turnover (including fees). China’s return to pole position is almost entirely due to big sales in Hong Kong which, says Artprice, is ‘the only major marketplace in the world that has continued to post market growth (up 10 per cent) and it is clearly keeping the Chinese art market alive.’

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