An entire chinese company auctioned on a site

Taobao, China’s largest online marketplace, is offering consumers the chance to buy not just a tube of toothpaste, but the entire company behind it. Tianqi, the well-known toothpaste brand, and Guangxi Aoqili, its manufacturer, went on sale yesterday for a starting price of Rmb163 million ($23.6 million), becoming one of the first household-name brands to be auctioned on the site. The auction, which closes today, also included industrial real estate, production equipment for making toothpaste and 57 trademarks related to Tianqi… Separately, shoppers can still buy Tianqi toothpaste on Taobao’s sites for less than $2 per tube… Taobao is controlled by ecommerce company Alibaba and processes tens of millions of retail sales for Chinese consumers every day. It is also famous for its annual “singles’ day” event on November 11, when tens of billions of dollars of goods are sold. But the company also runs an auction site for property confiscated by Chinese courts. In recent years it has become a platform for hawking everything from parcels of forest land to tea tables made from precious wood. Two Boeing jets and an unfinished skyscraper went on the block last year… Controlling stakes in small companies are regularly for sale on Taobao but the Tianqi auction was a rare opportunity to buy a nationally recognised brand.
Don Weinland