Two jumbo jets have been sold on China’s Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Taobao, it has emerged.
Russia Today are reporting the sale as the first time airliners have been purchased via an online auction.
According to reports the jets were bought by Chinese cargo airline SF Airlines for more than 320 million yuan ($48 million) from the Intermediate People’s Court in the city of Shenzhen, southeastern China.
According to the South China Morning Post the court had seized the Boeings after a cargo company went bankrupt in 2013.
The court decided to auction the planes on Taobao, the Chinese equivalent of e-Bay, after several offline auctions had failed to raise the required price.
According to the Russia Today report the court auctioned off three jets with one remaining unsold on a starting bid of $18 million.
It appears the auction was watched by 800,000 viewers and the deals were reached after 26 bids.
“Online auctions are a good way to handle the property of bankrupt firms,” Long Guangwei, the court’s vice president, told Xinhua. “Online auctions save time and service fees for bidders.”
The general manager of Alibaba’s auction business, Lu Weixing, is quoted as saying: “Online auctions help transparency in legal affairs because all information is there for all to see.”