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Online apartment auction makes transparency


09:41, November 21, 2012

HANGZHOU - An apartment seized in a lawsuit in east China's Zhejiang Province was sold on Tuesday in the country's first online housing auction.

The auction of the 35.12-square-meter apartment in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province, by the Xiaoshan District People's Court concluded with a final price of 356,000 yuan (57,090 U.S. dollars) at 10:20 a.m. on, China's largest online consumer shopping platform.

Wang Xiaoyan, a woman who won the auction, said she bought the apartment for investment.

Wang, a Xiaoshan native, said she learned about the auction from Internet media reports.

"After seeing photos and the profile of the house and learning market information, such as price and rent, from real estate agents, I believe it is a good deal," Wang said.

Online bidding opened at 10 a.m. on Monday, and 33 bids were made before the auction closed, said Wu Jian, a judge with the court, adding that 11 people have visited the apartment since the auction information was released online in early November.

An apartment seized by another court also in Zhejiang will be auctioned online on December 3, said.

Unlike ordinary online auctions, the identities of bidders in judicial auctions would be verified in advance. Bidders need to submit deposits under their real names through Alipay, an online payment service for Taobao consumers.

Courts in Zhejiang have previously auctioned seized properties, mostly automobiles, through

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