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Young collectors paint rosy picture for art market

Updated: 2021-11-30 14:05 ( China Daily )
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Zhang Qiong, president and head of wealth management at UBS (China), disclosed statistics from 2021 Art Basel and the UBS Global Art Market Report, showing that Greater China is now the world's second-largest art market-on a par with the UK-with a 20 percent share of global sales of art and antiques reaching about US$10 billion.

UBS surveyed 329 high net worth collectors on the mainland, recognizing that it is home to "a high share of young, wealthy collectors".

"In the ultra-HNW (high net worth) segment, with over US450 million in personal assets, millennial collectors accounted for 62 percent of the total," Zhang said.

In Shanghai, the proportion was especially high, with young millennial collectors-those born from 1977 to 1994-representing 74 percent of the HNW collectors, while in Beijing they comprised some 42 percent.

Zhang said the rise of "women's power" in China's art market is also worth noting.

The number of female buyers is growing fast. In 2019 and last year, women topped men in terms of the number of works purchased and their value. Among older age groups, male collectors dominated, but the majority of young collectors were female. On the mainland, 65 percent of millennial collectors are women, while globally the proportion is 53 percent, Zhang said.

The survey also found that despite the pandemic, the proportion of Chinese high net worth collectors spending more than $1 million on art rose from 19 percent to 26 percent year-on-year, while the proportion of those spending more than $10 million doubled to 8 percent last year.

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