The Telegraph reports on some scary facts about the Chinese art market—and mainland buyers—that have been often discussed within the art trade but rarely made publicly:
[A] survey of last year’s autumn sales from 250 Chinese auction houses found that two fifths of sales above 10m yuan (approximately £1m) had not been fully paid by April this year, according to Ou Shuying, the Association’s deputy general-secretary.
“Under Chinese regulations full settlement must be received within six months,” she told The Daily Telegraph, “so clearly the findings of survey are not satisfactory and below expectations for Chinese auction houses.” […]
“In a London auction if you stick up your hand for a lot, it’s the equivalent of signing a contract to buy the item,” explained William Hanbury-Tenison, an independent fine art agent in Shanghai, “but in China, as we all know, contracts are more fungible.” In practice, Mr Hanbury-Tenison adds, when the gavel falls on an item in a Chinese auction house, that is only the starting-point for negotiations over the final price to be paid.
Almost half of £1 million Chinese auction bids unpaid six months after they were lodged (Telegraph)