Although the Asian art market has been grabbing headlines in recent years for attaining one record price after another, many parts of that market are still undervalued, says Lark Mason, chairman of Asia Week New York, which runs from March 10 to 19. “Although there is a superabundance of exquisite objects on the market, the focus by the press is invariably on the high end, leaving many less expensive works under-publicized,” he says, adding, “For the beginning collector, now is one of the best times ever to acquire gorgeous artworks at very attractive prices.” Continue reading
March 10th kicks off Asia Week New York, the extraordinary ten-day extravaganza that animates New York with a glorious array of prized Asian works of art.
Originating from every corner of the Asian continent, the artworks will be shown throughout Manhattan by international Asian art specialists starting March 10 through March 19. In the museum-quality presentations by 45 galleries, art lovers can take in the rarest and finest examples of painting, sculpture, bronzes, ceramics, jewelry, jade, textiles, prints and photographs from all over Asia.
“Each year at this time, just as the flavor of spring arrives in the air, another phenomenon electrifies the atmosphere of New York: Asia Week!” exclaims Lark Mason, Chairman of Asia Week New York 2016 and owner and founder of iGavel Auctions. “And each year, in-the-know aficionados look forward to this 10-day event with great expectation. And why shouldn’t they? Asia Week is now celebrating its seventh anniversary, and it’s now more exciting than ever.
For more information about the exhibitions held by participating galleries, please visit the Asia Week New York’s official website www.asiaweekny.com.
Aston Martin, the British manufacturer of luxury sports cars, this week announced that it has agreed with a Beijing-based tech firm, LeEco, to jointly develop the British luxury automaker’s first electric vehicle by 2018. Formerly known as Letv, LeEco claims that its mission is to create extraordinary consumer experiences with a vertically integrated ecosystem shaped by constant innovations and breakthroughs.
According to the agreement, Aston Martin and LeEco plan to develop an electric car based on the British automaker’s Rapide S model. After that, the two companies will develop other potential electric vehicles.
Andy Palmer, Astom Martin Chief Executive, said that the partnership “brings Aston Martin’s electric car project forward” at a news conference in Frankfurt. The new electronic car would come to market in 2018 and will be built in Gaydon, England, according to the agreement.
LeEco hopes to promote cars in future by using its exsiting audience base and celebrities endorsements. As Lei Ding, co-founder of LeEco’s auto division, said,
“In China we have around 300 million people who visit our website. We could advertise the Aston Martin for free. And we can use celebrities to promote our vehicle. This is the way we do business.”
As the Chinese government continues its efforts to cut down the country’s air pollution, the electric car market will grow rapidly in China. The Chinese government aims to have at least 5 million electric cars by the year 2020.
China’s Wanda Group recently announced its partnership with Korea’s E-Land Group, agreeing to set up a joint travel venture. Wanda Group is the largest Chinese property company. E-Land Group is a Korean conglomerate taking part in fashion and retail businesses.
Wang Jianlin, Chairman of Wanda Group, agreed with E-Land Group Vice Chairman Park Sung-kyung last year to invest in four areas in Korea and set up joint projects with E-Land. According to E-Land, out of the four areas, tourism has come first.
E-Land is to launch the 50-50 joint venture with Wanda Tourism of China, according to the agreement. E-Land said the venture will focus on quality tourism program in Korea as the cheap, low-quality tour packages have damaged Korea’s image among Chinese visitors.
As E-Land’s first leisure business with Wanda, the joint project will not only provide tourism programs but also focus on Korea’s cultural attractions. The quality tourism program aims to attract more Chinese VIP customers. Wanda plans to send 1 million Chinese tourists to Korea each year.
Coach CEO Victor Luis this week told CNBC that the company is pleased to see the Chinese consumers globally.
According to Luis, the company has seen the Chinese demand pick up in Europe and Japan, where the flows of Chinese tourists have increased, although the company has recently experienced the decrease in sales in Hong Kong and Macau as most of its counterparts, due to the decrease in Chinese tourist flows.
“We’ve been on a journey to transform the brand and we’re very pleased — obviously with the results that we’ve been showing — since that transformation began about two years ago,” Luis told CNBC.
Coach this week reported its first sales increase in more than two years. However, the company’s overall sales are down $200 million over the past two years, mainly due to its loss of market share in the handbag category.
Chinese luxury shoppers are increasingly turning to buy online, according to a recent study published by KPMG. The study conducted surveys with 10,150 Chinese luxury consumers in 2015.
In the study, KPMG found that nearly one third of Chinese luxury consumers would choose to shop from online retailers instead of brick-and-mortar stores.
The respondents’ average spend per luxury item was 2,300 yuan ($350), and the averaged highest amount they would be willing to spending online on each order was 4,200 yuan ($638).
Women products are the main consuming items, according to the study. The best-selling items were cosmetics, women’s shoes, bags, leather products, women’s clothes and accessories.
In terms of the shopping destinations, overseas online retailers were more preferable to domestic ones by the Chinese luxury shoppers. Two thirds of online shoppers responded that they purchase more from aborad.
The foreign exchange is another factor impacting the Chinese luxury online shoppers’ purchasing decisions. KPMG indicated that the Chinese consumers will move fast to take advantage of opportunities presented by changes in foreign exchanges.
The Asia Week New York Association announces that 46 international galleries and 5 auction houses will participate in Asia Week New York 2016, the nine-day celebration of Asian art and culture that spans the metropolitan region from March 10 through 19, 2016. Says Lark Mason, Chairman of Asia Week New York: “For connoisseurs and collectors who want to immerse themselves fully in the wonders of the Far East, they know there is a once-a-year celebration that they must attend. And it’s no wonder. Asia Week combines top-flight galleries and world-renowned Asian art specialists for over a week of outstanding events and exhibitions – all sprinkled around the world’s most exhilarating city, New York!”
According to Mason, nine new galleries have joined the roster: Berwald Oriental Art (Chinese ceramics, pottery, sculpture, and works of art, London); DAG Modern (modern Indian art, New York); FitzGerald Fine Arts (Chinese ceramics and contemporary art, New York); Gallery Japonesque (contemporary Japanese ceramics and works of art, San Francisco); Alan Kennedy (Chinese textiles and paintings, Santa Monica); Laurence Miller Gallery (Japanese photography, New York); Renaud Montméat Art d’Asie (Indian and Himalayan Art, Paris); Phoenix Ancient Art (Chinese bronzes, New York); and Tenzing Asian Art (Hindu and Buddhist art, San Francisco).
The 2016 edition of Asia Week New York continues to offer a non-stop schedule of gallery open houses, auctions at Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, iGavel, and Sotheby’s, exhibitions, lectures, symposia and special events. To celebrate the week’s festivities, a private, invitation-only reception, jointly hosted with the Department of Asian Art of The Metropolitan Museum of Art will once again take place there on March 14. A comprehensive guide with maps will be available at participating galleries, auction houses and cultural institutions, starting February 2016 and online at asiaweekny.com. Emphasizing the strength of interest from Chinese-speaking buyers, a Chinese version of the website is available at cn.asiaweekny.com.
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.
China’s Alibaba Group, the world’s biggest e-commerce company, is planning to buy shares in New China Life Insurance Co Ltd, according to the Shanghai Securities News.
Central Huijin Investment Ltd, the largest shareholder owning 31.34 percent of the insurer, plans to sell some of its stake to Alibaba.
New China Life Insurance has a market capitalization of $24 billion. The company provides life insurance services and products.
Alibaba has already invested in the Chinese insurance market. Last December, the founders of Alibaba and Tencent Holdings Ltd were among a consortium of investors who purchased stakes in Ping An Insurance Group Co of China Ltd in a HK$36.5 billion ($4.7 billion) deal, marking that the two Internet giants have been eyeing finance as an area ripe for technological disruption.
China’s second-richest man Wang Jianlin recently announce that he is buying a 20 percent stake in Spanish soccer team Atletico Madrid. According to the deal, Dalian Wanda Group will initially invest 45 million euros ($52 million) for the Atletico stake.
As the first investment by a Chinese company in a top European soccer club, this deal makes Wang one of the club’s biggest shareholders. However, the stake owned by Wang is not sold from the current shareholders but from the expansion of the shares by the Spanish champion.
“If you use the language of soccer – we have kicked the ball to the Spanish side,” Wang said. Wang also indicated that he is interested in adding more soccer clubs to his collection. According to British newspaper the Daily Mirror reported early 2014, Wang may make a bid for English Premier League club Southampton.
The investment of Atletico Madrid is only the first step for Wang, in fact, he has a grand blueprint. According to a statement announcing the agreement,
Wanda and Atletico will each invest 15 million euros to build a training center for young soccer players in Madrid and will open three soccer schools in China. The soccer club will also play matches in China each year after the deal.
In addition to its major real estate business, Wang is a passionate supporter of soccer in China. He helped the city of Dalian’s government set up Dalian Wanda Football Club in 1994. Some industrial expert noted that the purchase of well-known soccer club in Span will help boost Wanda’s brand recognition. Also, as the Chinese real estate market becomes more competitive, Wang is trying to “reduce risks by tapping into other industries and countries.”