This week, hundreds of Chinese bidders flocked to an auction in Beijing to bid for cars that used to belong to central government, reported South China Morning Post.
The first batch of 204 central government officials’ cars that went under the hammer were sold for a whopping 14.5 million yuan ($2,321,900) in total, about 75 percent higher than their staring prices on average. The remaining 2,980 cars will be auctioned at later dates.
During the auction, one of the bidders successfully bid more than 20 Audis and Volkswagens worth more than a million yuan, according to the report.
The question is why so many people are fascinated by used ex-government cars rather than other secondhand cars or brand new cars. As one bidder told China Business News,
“It makes me look good to drive a former official car to business gatherings, because it used to serve officials from the central government.”
Some bidders also felt that the cars used by government officials were usually better maintained than other secondhand cars.
With the ongoing anti-corruption campaign driven by President Xi, officials of all ranks below deputy minister are now banned from using government-owned cars on a daily basis except for specific tasks and emergencies. Unused cars are to be sold at public auctions, with the money raised going to the central treasury.