Christie’s wins first foreign licence to hold sales in China

Elizabeth Fournier
HISTORIC auction house Christie’s has become the first international auction house to be granted a licence to operate independently in China, giving it direct access to the world’s largest art and auction market.

The auction house, which was founded in 1766 and owned today by French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, will hold its first sales in Shanghai in the autumn.

It has had a partnership with local house Forever International Auction for the past eight years, but until now has been unable to win approval from Chinese authorities to operate independently.

Previously, Christie’s could only hold Asia-related auctions in Hong Kong, with buyers from mainland China forced to travel to the city to take part.