Two Boeing 747 Jumbo Jets Auctioned in Taobao

By Faith Magbanua, November 22, 2017 22:11 PM


After six failing for six attempts over the past two two years to sell three 747s from defunct carrier Jade Cargo International, a court in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen decided to auction them online.

According to Xinhua's report on Tuesday, the two Boeing 747 planes have been sold on the Chinese e-shopping website Taobao for more than 320m yuan ($48m; £36m).

The twin jumbo jets are from a defunct cargo company and the court handling the bankruptcy had been trying to sell them for years.

Furthermore, the highest bidder and new proud owner is Chinese carrier SF Airlines, defeating out 25 other interested parties.

WHAT IS A 747?

The Boeing 747 is an American wide-body commercial jet airliner and cargo aircraft, often referred to by its original nickname, "Jumbo Jet". Its distinctive "hump" upper deck along the forward part of the aircraft makes it among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and it was the first wide-body produced. Manufactured by Boeing's Commercial Airplane unit in the United States, the original version of the 747 was envisioned to have 150 percent greater capacity than the Boeing 707, one of the common large commercial aircraft of the 1960s. First flown commercially in 1970, the 747 held the passenger capacity record for 37 years.

Meanwhile, Taobao is an online auction website similar to eBay, owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Founded by Alibaba Group on May 10, 2003, Taobao Marketplace facilitates consumer-to-consumer (C2C) retail by providing a platform for small businesses and individual entrepreneurs to open online stores that mainly cater to consumers in Chinese-speaking regions (Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) and also abroad.

At the end of 2010, the number of registered members on Taobao had reached over 370 million, around 80% of the Chinese online shopping market.

With around 760 million product listings as of March 2013, Taobao Marketplace is one of the world's top 20 most visited websites according to Alexa.

For the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2013, the combined gross merchandise volume (GMV) of Taobao Marketplace and exceeded 1 trillion yuan, more than that of eBay and Amazon combined. The Economist calls it "the country's biggest online marketplace".

Twin Jumbo Jets

The planes have been in storage in the cities of Shanghai and Shenzhen since 2013 after their owner, Jade Cargo International, filed for bankruptcy in September that same year.

They were seized by a court in the southern city of Shenzhen which, since then, had been looking for a buyer.

According to Chinese news agency Xinhua, the third jet could not be sold because there was only one buyer who had registered for the auction.

It's not the first time that online auction sites sell somewhat unusual items for millions of dollars.

The highest ever sale on eBay was a $85m deposit for a super yacht in 2006, topping the previous number one, a Gulfstream II charter jet sold for $4.9m.


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