The Year of the Pig and Technology in China's Art Market


All the new money Chinese entrepreneurs are generating is energizing an already-large art market in China. After all, the country is apparently creating two new billionaires each week!

China has already been adapting digital technologies to its own specific needs. For instance, there are entire cities in China that no longer take cash, but instead use Weibo (WeChat), the country’s most popular social media platform — to transact business. Even hot bun vendors on street corners have eschewed cash for electronic payments.

This month — at the start of The Year of the Pig — we’re working on a report about how China’s tech scene is addressing the needs of artists, intermediaries, casual buyers, and collectors of art.

Some of the most interesting points we’ll be exploring include:

  • the Chinese technology companies that are working to disrupt the Mainland art market and their

  • offerings (artificial intelligence; blockchain; virtual and augmented reality; and mobile marketing, sales, payments) 

  • how Taobao is supporting sales and auctions of art

  • the role of WeChat in the art market

  • how artists are using new technologies to create art

  • examples of how young buyers are using digital technologies to research and purchase art 

I’m particularly excited about working on the report as it bears on my experience as an expat who lived and worked in China for more than 10 years; my interest in the disruptive nature of digital technology; and the art world.