Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Alibaba's Taobao Just Auctioned Off Two Boeing 747 Planes

You can buy almost anything on Taobao, China’s biggest e-commerce platform, even a jumbo jet.

While most Chinese consumers traffic the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. app for groceries, clothes, or the odd knickknack, SF Airlines Co. took Taobao shopping to a whole other level on Tuesday.

The Chinese carrier bid more than 320 million yuan ($48 million) for two Boeing 747 freighter planes, according to the Xinhua News Agency, which cited the seller: the Intermediate People’s Court of Shenzhen City. A third plane failed to sell.

Click here to see one of the plane listings, as it appeared.

“Online auctions are a good way to handle the property of bankrupt firms,” Long Guangwei, the court’s vice-president, said to Xinhua. The jets originated from Jade Cargo International, the Taobao listings show.

Taobao’s court auction platform is a trove of assets from cities across China, with real estate, industrial equipment and vehicles -- in various states of repair -- up for bids. Taobao, which translates roughly as “digging for treasure,” also auctions off bad loans from Chinese companies.

Alibaba dominates e-commerce in China, with Taobao and the company’s other shopping platforms accounting for more than 75 percent of online retail sales in 2015.

— With assistance by Eric Lam, and Tian Chen

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.
    LEARN MORE