Antiques and airmiles

Liu Yiqian takes his cup home

Signing Credit Card w

In an unusual move, the auctioneer Sotheby’s arranged a special handover ceremony at its Hong Kong offices last Saturday. The item being presented to its new owner was the Ming Chenghua Chicken Cup, which was bought for the record sum of $36 million by China’s Liu Yiqian for his Long Museum in Shanghai. A very rare piece of porcelain formerly belonging to Chinese emperors, the cup is now being returned to ‘the motherland’, bringing Liu much fanfare at the time of the auction (see WiC233).

At the ceremony last weekend, Liu then surprised the media by drinking Pu’er tea from the cup in question. Also surprising was the way that he paid for the item. Liu used his credit card, signing 24 stubs in front of reporters (see photo above). But as Apple Daily pointed out that there was a practical reason for paying with plastic: a tonne of credit card points. Helpfully, the newspaper calculated that Liu was also eligible for HK$1.4 million worth of coupons ($181,000) that could be redeemed in Hong Kong supermarket ParknShop.

© ChinTell Ltd. All rights reserved.

Sponsored by HSBC.

The Week in China website and the weekly magazine publications are owned and maintained by ChinTell Limited, Hong Kong. Neither HSBC nor any member of the HSBC group of companies ("HSBC") endorses the contents and/or is involved in selecting, creating or editing the contents of the Week in China website or the Week in China magazine. The views expressed in these publications are solely the views of ChinTell Limited and do not necessarily reflect the views or investment ideas of HSBC. No responsibility will therefore be assumed by HSBC for the contents of these publications or for the errors or omissions therein.