Science

Chinese court seizes ship, auctions on Alibaba for $2.4 million

18 Jan 2017 | By Abheet Sethi

A foreign ship seized by the Shanghai Maritime Court has been sold on Alibaba for a whopping $2.4 million!

The Panamanian-flagged vessel Mahoni was owned by an Indonesian shipping company.

It was seized last May by the court at Shanghai Harbour after its 31 crew-members sued its owners claiming they hadn't been paid for 18 months.

It was purchased by a Hong Kong-based company.

In context: Chinese court auctions ship on Alibaba for $2.4mn

18 Jan 2017Chinese court seizes ship, auctions on Alibaba for $2.4 million

Auction attracted interest

The auction was viewed by 12,112 viewers. It went through 63 rounds of offers until the final price was reached.
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Why?Alibaba an unlikely platform for auctioning ships

"Online auctions can boost enthusiasm ... since they require less time and expense, and the process of making bids is clearer compared to traditional auction modes," a court official said.

"Online auctions can avoid potential buyers communicating before making bids in order to keep prices low," he added.

Also, unlike live auctions, no commission is charged for auctions taking place over Alibaba.

Not the first online auction in China

In January 2016, the court auctioned off a seized Chinese ship for $112.7 million via an auction hosted by Taobao, China's online shopping platform.

02 Nov 2016Alibaba sees 55% revenue growth over past year

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has seen a steady growth ever since its inception. It recorded 55% growth year-on-year for the quarter ending September.

Overall revenues have reached $5.1 billion thanks to strong demand in core commerce; digital media and entertainment; cloud computing and monetization of UCWeb users.

Alibaba's growth comes amid a slowdown in the Chinese economy.