I n a digital era of social media culture, there is little going past WeChat for connecting with Greater China. Dubbed a super-app for its wide range of functions, the Chinese social media platform, instant messaging, and mobile payment app developed by Tencent is today the world’s largest standalone mobile app.
As we look back on a successful year in Asia for Sotheby’s, and embark on year-long celebrations of the company’s milestone 50th anniversary in the region, we shine a light on the cross-channel strategy of Sotheby’s Asia through an exploration of the 10 most viewed videos by our WeChat subscribers, which saw more than 65% growth in 12 months, exceeding 250,000 followers by December 2022.
Discover the ‘Williamson Pink Star’ – A Dazzling Fancy Vivid Pink Diamond
Among the top three videos, the 11.15 carats Williamson Pink Star diamond certainly drew a lot of attention. While the heart-stopping video clip of the electrifying bidding battle that took place on 7 October in the sale room in Hong Kong received more than 95,600 views, the pre-sale video exceeded 156,500 clicks, making it the second-most popular video of the year. The Williamson Pink Star sold for HK$453.2 million (US$58 million), setting an exceptional new world record price per carat for any diamond or gemstone and becoming the second most valuable jewel or gemstone ever sold at auction.
The Personal Collection of Sir Joseph Hotung
Chinese art garnered the most interest, most apparently seen in the personal collection of Sir Joseph Hotung where three videos spotlighting the landmark single-owner sale took out spots in the top 10. A global series of four live sales and an online sale across Hong Kong and London brought in HK$931.6 million (£103.3 million). A specialist tour led by Tian Yuen of the London leg of the sale, a preview clip filmed in the London home of the late Sir Joseph Hotung, and an expert video with Nicolas Chow, Chairman, Asia and Worldwide Head and Chairman of Chinese Works of Art, taking us through five key pieces from the sale collectively drew more than 160,000 views. The Hong Kong leg of the sale saw exceptional results, with an extremely rare Late Ming dynasty folding horseshoe-back armchair selling for HK$124.6 million (US$15.8 million) – making it a world auction record for a Chinese chair, and the second most valuable piece of Chinese classical furniture sold at auction.
While a beautiful two-minute video telling the extraordinary story of a Qianlong Yangcai Reticulated Vase and a special video tour of Chinese Art were top choices from October’s Autumn marquee sale season, each topping more than 40,000 views, it was videos from Spring marquee auctions in April that stood out from the rest. A close-up snapshot of Wu Guanzhong’s Blossoming Fireworks of Life clocked more than 30,000 clicks, while the magnificent story of a Qianlong soapstone seal from the Dr Wou Kiuan Collection attracted more than 40,000 views.
Rarely Seen: Zhang Daqian's Intoxicating Golden Blue-green Landscape
Taking out the number one spot of 2022? A six-and-a-half minute video led by Carmen Ip, Head of Department, Fine Chinese Paintings, on Zhang Daqian’s masterpiece Landscape after Wang Ximeng, which sold for HK$370.5 million in April, setting an extraordinary world auction record for the artist. The video scored more than 210,000 views on WeChat.