Friday, October 11, 2013

Market Dominance

AFP reports that connected Chinese auction houses have achieved market dominance over their foreign rivals in selling Chinese antiquities:

"Western giants Christie's and Sotheby's are increasingly focused on China but barred from selling the hottest item -- antiques -- by laws aimed at protecting cultural heritage.

Meanwhile Chinese rivals Poly and Guardian have seen tremendous growth thanks to their greater freedom to act within the country, and their political ties." 

The net effect of self-imposed US restrictions is simply to turn the market over to Mainland Chinese auctioneers and dealers.  And again it must be asked: How can restrictions on the entry of ancient Chinese art into the relatively small US market have any impact on any looting within China itself when the much larger and rapidly expanding Chinese art market is allowed to sell the same ancient Chinese art without restrictions in Hong Kong?

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