Date of Award


Document Type

MA Project - Restricted Access (SIA Only)

Project Type

MA Project - Business Plan

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art Business

First Advisor

Zhang Jin


Over the past four decades, the art market in China has gone through incredible path, during which, China’s art commerce started in the modern era and developed into the market we know today. The fact that the Chinese Art Market overtook that of the US in (1) 2011 according to the Chinese Art Market Report might have surprised many. Lookback the journey, China art market not only achieved extraordinary growth, but also built up a comprehensive art eco-system that consist of established and emerging Chinese artists, bunch of mature art collectors and new art buyers, and most importantly diversified primary and secondary art market business formats: galleries, dealers, art advisors, auction houses, museums, art fairs, you name it. And noticeably in recent years rising of online art stores become a unique business channel which benefit from fast booming new industry: internet & digital.

Art industry in China has developed exponentially. Now key market players in China and those who are interested to this market all want to know: How is the market trend look like in next decade in a such rapid change country? What will be the new source of growth if any? What are key factors may impact demand side (art collectors, art buyers) behaviors and needs? What could be new opportunities?

This paper, through in-depth China Art Market analysis and China Digital Technologytrends research, provides clear review of how China’s art commerce will continue grow and also identifies a new opportunity in participate into new growth in China, . Through this research, interviews with art collectors, working with new digital tech leads companies, and discussions with art market important stakeholders, here come up a flow with key messages as following:

  • Since 1980’s, China Art Market being resumed and also made transition from a planned economy to a market economy. Within few decades which in tandem with the country’ s rapid economic growth, a comprehensive art eco-system being developed in China.

  • Continue increasing in individual wealth generated a substantial demand for collecting Chinese artworks. Early art collectors become more mature and their needs are shifting from price investment to more art preference, personnel collection logic directions. Despite a general concern about the uncertain macroeconomic environment, there is a desire in China to keep or increase spending on art. One major reason is that many top collectors perceive art as a valuable way to allocate their assets in a country with (2) substantial capital controls.

  • UNHWI (ultra-net-high-worth-individual) population is expected to increase by 43 (3) percent in the next decade*[UBS/Delloitte] , wealth preservation and interests to art as social status are main drivers of this group rising desire entering into art market, it will become new force and source of growth in China.

  • Digital with internet plays a disrupting role across industries in China which impact all users’ lifestyle and ways to approach, access them, as almost every Chinese by populations are using mobile digital app, esp. WeChat

  • Hence, an opportunity being defined: develop a dedicated digital platform to bridge art buyers / collectors and art supply side, by acquire and activate members on platform, it will be source of income for platform with 3 layers service / products to be offered.

This paper includes five chapters. Chapter 1 a full market analysis including: a) China Art Market overview as a context to understand how market have done and will evolve; b) Art Market eco-System ( supply side) to describes the development of supply side and readiness as a mature art market; c) Collectors and Buyers ( demand side) to presents an analysis including current art collectors’ behaviors and needs and the possible future changes; also identified more HNWI’s portraits as potential new forces in art market ; d) Art and Technology, offers a landscape of how digital disrupting overall Chinese users behaviors from their whole lifestyle and impact to approach, influence them and even convert them as art buyers, collectors; e) Impact Summary. Chapter 2 summarize the market opportunity being defined and describe the new business model—a dedicated digital platform for art demand and art supply side in China. Chapter 3 a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to cultivate and engage target segment customers. Chapter 4 a detail operations and development plan to deliver this business plan. Chapter 5 a three years financial outlook to justify attractiveness, feasibility of the case. (1) CHINESE ART MARKET REPORT 2019 Read Foreward [TEFAF] (2)CHINESE ART MARKET REPORT 2019 Chapter 1 [TEFAF]

(3) The Art Market 2018 , An Art Basel & UBS Report Prepared by Dr Clare McAndrew, Founder of Arts Economics; 11