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Invaluable and China's EpaiLive bring together art & auction markets of the East and the West
Invaluable and EpaiLive Alliance Launch: Invaluable and EpaiLive officially launch an exclusive new alliance at the International Auctioneers Forum in Beijing. (From right to left: Lin Bin, Vice Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Beijing Sub-Council; Yao Zhao, Director of the Data Center of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage; Tan Ping, Vice President of The State Cultural Relic Press; Rob Weisberg, CEO of Invaluable; QiQi Jiang, CEO and GM of EpaiLive Auction Co. Ltd.; Sun Ruofeng, Inspector from the Department of Cultural Industry of the Ministry of Culture of The People’s Republic of China; Cui Guomin, Deputy Director of the Beijing Bureau of Cultural Heritage; Jin Ruiguo, Director of the Social Cultural Relics Department of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage; and Wang Weimin, Branch Manager of Jinjie, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China.)

BOSTON, MASS.- Invaluable, the world’s largest online live auction marketplace, today announced a new strategic partnership with EpaiLive, Asia’s leading online auction platform for antiques and art, bringing together the two largest markets for art and auctions in the world. The exclusive new alliance allows both companies to cross-market their auctions across their respective platforms, providing Invaluable auction houses with unprecedented access to Chinese auction bidders, while providing North American bidders access to merchandise available through Chinese auction houses.

Invaluable auction houses throughout North America are now starting to be listed on EpaiLive’s online platform, with auction sales being promoted to more than 100,000 registered EpaiLive users. The alliance will help streamline payment and logistics, as EpaiLive uses a secure escrow payment system to guarantee all payments from Chinese buyers, and facilitates the transactions from their buyers direct to auctioneers. In addition, Invaluable bidders now have access to merchandise for sale from EpaiLive’s partner auction houses in Asia, including a wide selection of contemporary Chinese art.

Starting today, lots across both the Invaluable and EpaiLive platforms are available for absentee bidding online, and the two companies plan to start offering live online bidding later this year.

According to the TEFAF Art Market Report 20141, the United States held the position as the principal center of the global art and antiques market in 2013, followed by China, which was ranked as the world’s second largest market for art and auctions. The report names China as the most important of the newer markets in the space.

“We are extremely excited to launch our partnership with EpaiLive as we merge the two largest markets for art and auctions in the world, and expand the reach of our auction house partner’s sales to China-based buyers,” said Rob Weisberg, Invaluable CEO. “With this alliance, we are increasing the inventory available on the auction market in Asia with the vast selection of Asian arts and antiques offered by Invaluable auction houses in North America, while providing our auction house partners with guaranteed payment from China-based buyers.”

Invaluable has experienced tremendous growth in the Asian arts and antiques category in the past year, as well as growing demand from bidders based in China. The number of registered users on the Invaluable platform in China rose by 123 percent in 2013 over the previous year, while the number of executed bids from users based in China rose by 101 percent in 2013 over 2012.

“We are thrilled about our new strategic partnership with Invaluable as we work to create stronger ties between the auction markets of the East and the West,” said Dr. QiQi Jiang, CEO of EpaiLive. “China is currently one of the largest global markets for art and antiques, and has the potential to be the largest art market in the world. Asia-based buyers are showing increased interest in the Western art market, and we believe this partnership will make it even easier for them to find the items they are most passionate about. This new alliance of the world’s two largest auction marketplaces is a huge step toward the globalization of our online auction platform, and we’re excited to facilitate relationships and increase mutual understanding between our two cultures.”

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