$37 million (£22.5 million) raised at Sotheby’s first mainland China auction

Zao Wou-Ki, Abstraction, 1958

Sotheby's first mainland China auction, in Beijing, has raised $37 million, highlighting that there are strong buyers on the mainland, Bloomberg has reported. The auction also set a record for Chinese-French artist Zao Wou-Ki, whose 1958 oil-on-canvas painting, Abstraction, sold to Zhang Xiaojun, a collector from Shanxi province for 89.68 million yuan ($14.7 million).

Sotheby’s received permission in September 2012 to establish a joint-venture auction house with state-owned Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group, and holds an 80 percent stake in the new enterprise, Sotheby’s Beijing (Auction) Company Ltd.

Christie’s held its first auction in China in September in Shanghai, and is the first foreign auction house to operate in China without a local partner.