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Sotheby’s expands Asia network into China in JV with Beijing company

International art and antiques auction house Sotheby’s is set to expand their horizons and market opportunities and will be doing so through its Joint-Venture effort with Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group or BGCDG. Through this effort, the company will be called Sotheby’s (Beijing) Auction Co Ltd and it will surely be good news not only for both the companies but for the art lovers and collectors in the country.

Under the agreement, which was agreed earlier this month, Sotheby’s will be investing some US$1.2 million into the JV in which they will hold 80% of the shares while the rest will be held by Beijing Gehua Art Company. This was confirmed by Mr Wang YuDong, the General Manager of the latter. It will be operating at the Tainzhu Free Trade Zone in Shunyi, a suburb of Beijing and will surely propel Sotheby’s brand image in the highest populated country.

Sotheby’s is known as the top art and antiques auctioneer in the world who have been operating for more than three decades now. It has 90 offices in 40 countries and China is the latest addition to this wide network. Before this, most of Sotheby’s dealings in Asia were represented through its Hong Kong office. Kevin Ching, the CEO of Sotheby’s Asia said that the China venture wills surely open up new opportunities and is a long-term investment for the company.

In China, foreign auction houses like Sotheby’s and competitor Christie’s are not allowed to operate unless they partner with the local companies and this would be a huge step forward with recent reports that China is the largest art market since 2011, carrying more than 40% of the total art sales of the world. On top of that, it is also widely appropriate with Beijing being the art market of China.