How to Sell Antiquities in China?

How to sell antiquities to Chinese People? What is the market Size? How can I do this with a limited budget?

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The global auction sales of Chinese antiques and art totaled $5.7 Billion in 2019. This is a 10% drop from the previous and the lowest level since 2010.

source The 8th annual Global Chinese Art Auction Market Report was a joint venture between Artnet (CAA) and China Association of Auctioneers.

According to the report, the factors responsible for the decline include trade tensions between the US & China as well as the falling Chinese GDP growth rate. The total auction sales in China fell 10 percent to $3.7 billion in 2019, another 10-year low.

There was also a significant drop in the sales of Chinese antiques and art outside of China. This figure dropped nine percent over the previous year on overseas markets.

The market’s annual report gives an in-depth view by analysing its overall size and volume, trends and key players. The Artnet Price Database has been updated with data from China over the past eight years. This makes auction results from China easily accessible to all of the world.

The HKMoA’s Chinese Antiquities collection contains the most extensive and oldest artifacts and objects. It contains more than 4,500 sets or ceramics. Ceramics make up more than half of the collection. They span the entire period from Neolithic to the 20th century. Each piece was created for everyday use, as ornaments, or as Mingqi (brurial items). The Chinese Antiquities Collection demonstrates a high level of creativity and technological skills and is an invaluable resource for studying Chinese culture and ancient society.

Because Hong Kong is located in the heart of China, it makes sense that we should have a focus on tangible art objects from southern China. The Museum’s mission is to encourage the appreciation and understanding of Chinese cultural relics. We have been tireless in our efforts to acquire exceptional artifacts to display. Our collection has also been greatly enriched by the generous donations and bequests of the public. The most important of these include a collection that Dr Ip Yee donated in 1985 of bamboo carvings. This demonstrates the close connection between the art form and the life of the Chinese scholar. Also, Mrs Kwok On and Woo Kam Chiu both donated in 1986 and 1987 Shiwan pottery collections, which are testaments to the accomplishments of the Guangdong ceramic kiln. The many other donations that our museum has received from various institutions and individuals are equally important. Their generosity not only shows their support for our museum but also reflects the growing awareness of how important it is to preserve our cultural heritage.

Art Market: What’s the Difference Between China and the West?

Experts at Artprice explain why the two poles of art market, China and the West, were not built in the same time frame. The two largest multinationals Sotheby’s and Christie’s are driving the first secular market. They were both founded in the eighteenth-century. With the sale of works of art made in Hong Kong alone, they account for 42.65% (excluding Hong Kong) of the global market. This compares to 41.3% market share in China, including sales to Hong Kong. China’s rapid economic growth has shaken western dominance. This market is new, and Poly International Auction has put out seven candles in 2012.

China Guardian Auctions is the second Chinese auction house. It was founded in 1993. They have 20.76% of China’s art market and a turnover of $ 1 Billion. Beijing is a strong place for art investment. This dynamic has allowed Beijing to acquire a lot of great art that are not yet ready for history or criticism. As of 2012, however, there have been significant changes in China’s art market. The government and auction houses took drastic measures in 2012 to regulate the art market to ensure its long-term growth. The art market’s speculative temptations have even attracted the West. As high as 80% of all works sold in West are below 5,000 dollars. This is a sign of a strong taste for collecting art, and not just the assimilation to monetary activities.

Decorative or demanding art in China

Because of the censorship, political art is not a favourite genre. Because of their ever-larger homes, many prefer bold, abstract art. Until the 1990s, Chinese homes were small and had no walls to accommodate large paintings. This has changed, and Americans are more aware of “wall power”, which is large, bold, colorful works that glitter or shimmer.

Chinese artistic tastes have changed

Chinese antiquities collectors are crossing cultural and geographical boundaries to acquire Chinese art and Chinese classical paintings. Collectors are now keen to acquire Western art as they search for Chinese classic paintings and works from abroad. Chinese cinema magnate Wang Zhongjun purchased the painting “Still Life, Poppies and Daisies of Van Gogh” at Sotheby’s auction in November 2014. This record-breaking amount was 59 million euros.

Make an artistic website(in Chinese)

The majority of Chinese use the internet to search for information, including art buyers. It is therefore a good idea to create a Chinese website with all information about the artist and works of art. Then, you can create a newsletter that will keep art lovers up-to date on any performances. Ad-hoc SEO is a great way to rank your site on Baidu (Google Chinese).

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Wechat & Weibo advertising campaigns

Social media in China are ultra used. It is used by many Chinese artists to reach potential investors and buyers. WeChat and Weibo are the most popular apps in this instance, especially for marketing campaigns.

WeChat, China’s most used social network, has more than 1 billion active users every month. This is well-known by many brands. WeChat is used every day in China to chat with friends, order food, and book taxis. WeChat is becoming a more mainstream media platform due to its widespread use and potential. All companies that work on the Chinese market need to have the campaigns created ad-hoc for WeChat.

Weibo, which has more than 650 users, is the second most popular Chinese social media. Many companies use Weibo for increasing users engagement through mini-Videos, Online events, Buzz…

China is a country where digital media has a greater impact than any other. The commercial influence of celebrities in Western countries is not as effective on Chinese customers as that of KOLs from China. KOLs can be extremely influential in sales and marketing. KOLs who follow them on social media are trusted more than advertising or ads on other media channels. Online KOLs spread not only information, but lifestyle, thoughts and ideas, which can influence people’s purchasing decisions and behavior.

The Chinese livestreaming trend is often associated with fashion influencers selling new accessories. But Huangdu, a graduate from Nottingham Trent University’s Museum and Heritage Development Program, is showing there is another option for the medium. A dynamic and potentially lucrative link between a new group of culturally engaged Chinese consumers and global cultural institutions and sites that interest them is possible.

Huangdu was first noticed by the media when her livestream of Ruddington Village Museum, an English village that displays social history through household items, was viewed by more than 400,000 Chinese. Her efforts have been so successful that she was awarded a special award at U.K’s 2019 Regional Heritage Conference.

While connecting with Chinese audiences via China’s social media giants WeChat, Weibo and Weibo remains a key function for Western museums and cultural organizations, they should also consider livestreaming to Chinese video platforms such as Douyu, Lanjing, and Douyin (known internationally under TikTok) as a way to build an authentic identity in China.

Huangdu’s livestreams continue as she joins JGOO to connect European brands with Chinese customers via Alipay and WeChat Pay. This move expands her broadcasts into the realms of e-commerce in museums.

These are the best practices for institutions looking to take advantage of the growing trend of cultural livestreaming.

Livestreaming offers museums a way to respond to viewers’ requests and wants in real time, which is a major advantage over traditional communication methods. Although Chinese cultural engagement is growing rapidly (thanks to increasing museum attendance by Chinese tourists abroad), it is still the most popular cultural artifacts in China, so livestreams should reflect that.

Choose interesting objects first. Huangdu recommends that you choose objects that will help Chinese viewers interact with your museum. “For example, I visited Doddington Hall and selected a piece of porcelain that had been purchased from China hundreds of centuries ago.

Think Ecommerce in China Always

By launching products on Chinese e-commerce platforms Taobao and Tmall, global museums are already tapping into China’s penchant for cultural museum products (also known as shenchuang). The British Museum earned $51 million in 2018 through licensing product sales in China. This success story has inspired the Victoria and Albert Museums of London and The Metropolitan Museum of Art to follow their lead.

A museum’s ecommerce strategy should include cultural livestreaming. It can showcase both products from its gift shop and QR codes that enable viewers to purchase them. “When I livestream, I can show a WeChat or Alipay QR code, and if viewers wish to purchase a product that is related to the museum they can scan the QR code and the museum will ship it to China.” source

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