1. Commerce
December 27, 2017updated 28 Dec 2017 1:49pm

A 511ft skyscraper is up for auction in China on Taobao

A 156m (511ft), 39-storey skyscraper located in China’s northern Shanxi province has been listed on Taobao, the country’s largest e-commerce website owned by Alibaba.

The starting price is 53m yuan ($84.2m).

Originally designed to be a hotel, construction of the building first started 11 years ago and was due to be completed by 2011, but was delayed because of funding issues, according to Chinese state media outlet Xinhua. 

Photos listed on the auction site show an unfinished building, which is now expected to be completed by January 2.

The building, which boasts over 76,000 square metres of floor space, was first listed for auction on December 1 according to a court notice.

Lu Weixing, general manager of Alibaba’s auction business, the parent company of Taobao, told Xinhua:

Online auctions help transparency in legal affairs because all information is there for all to see.

Almost all courts in China have set up accounts on Taobao’s auction platform to help handle assets seized in lawsuits.

What else is auctioned on Taobao?

In November, a 28-floor building was put up for auction at a starting price of 219m yuan ($33.4m) by a local court in northeastern Zhejiang province on the Taobao platform.

However, nobody bid for the property.

Meanwhile, in the same month, two Boeing 747 jets were successfully auctioned for 320m yuan ($48m), while the third plane sold for 146m yuan ($22.3m) in December.

The jumbo jets were from a defunct cargo company Jade Cargo International and the court handling the bankruptcy had been trying to sell them for years, the BBC reported at the time.

Apartment buildings, cars, confiscated jewellery and mobile phones are all regularly put up for auction by Chinese authorities on the Taobao e-commerce website, China’s version of eBay.

The highest ever sale on eBay was a $85m deposit for a superyacht in 2006, surpassing the previous record — a Gulfstrem II charter jet sold for $4.9m in 2001.

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