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Jean Qian. Photo: Sotheby’s.
Jean Qian. Photo: Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s Taps Jean Qian as China Director

Global auction house Sotheby’s has announced Jean Qian as its new director of operations in China. She will operate out of Shanghai, where she will work to elevate the auctioneer’s presence in the country. Qian previously served as vice president for the China Asia-Pacific market at fashion-industry e-commerce platform Farfetch; before that, she served as a management consultant for professional services providers Accenture and Ernst & Young.

Sotheby’s, like its competitors Christie’s and Phillips, enjoyed a strong year of sales in 2021, thanks to success of its expanded digital livestreaming format and to a wave of new customers. One third of all bids by value in global auctions were made by buyers in Asia, where the market remains heated. Despite the country’s increasing restrictions on human rights, from the internment and persecution of the Uyghur people to curtailing artistic and political freedoms in Hong Kong, China has lately seen a surge of interest from American and European organizations, including Phillips, which in December announced a major new headquarters in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, near the recently inaugurated M+ museum of contemporary art.

Qian’s appointment was confirmed by Nathan Drahi, managing director of Sotheby’s Asia, who acknowledged that “China is a major strategic focus for Sotheby’s.” Drahi further noted that he looked forward to further development in the region.