Corruption in China's Auction Houses? Hardly a Shock
Here is a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal, its an interesting read.
Inside a stuffy hotel ballroom in Beijing earlier this month, Zhao Xu was too anxious to remain in his seat as "Beijing 2008," a painting by Chinese artist Lui Liu, came up for sale.
Mr. Zhao, the 43-year-old head of China's Poly Auction, smoked cigarettes feverishly in the corner as bidding on the painting—one of the night's most anticipated works—opened at a sky-high 16 million yuan ($2.6 million). But in less than three minutes, Mr. Zhao could relax. The painting, which depicts five partly nude women at a mah-jongg game, sold for $2.7 million, proving that the Chinese art market was alive and well.
In less than seven years, Mr. Zhao and Poly Auction have risen to become unlikely major players in the art world. Controlled by Chinese state-owned conglomerate China Poly Group—which began as a unit of the People's Liberation Army—Poly Auction is China's largest art auction house and the world's third-largest peddler of valuable collectibles, after Christie's and Sotheby's BID +1.35% .