Sources: Global Times – By Xie Wenting | All Things Michael
The initial biding price for an auction for deceased pop star Michael Jackson’s infamous residence in California went unmet on China’s largest e-commerce website on Tuesday, as Jackson’s fans in China worry about the future ownership of the house.
The initial biding price for Jackson’s 1,093-hectare Neverland Ranch, which is now called Sycamore Valley Ranch, was 500 million yuan ($79 million) on paimai.taobao.com, an auction website belonging to the e-commerce giant Taobao.
The one-day auction attracted 59,790 page views as of press time, but only one person gave the deposit of 50,000 yuan for a bid, and the bidder did not make an offer during the auction.
“We cooperated with the real estate agency Fangpaipai to put Michael Jackson’s house up for auction in order to attract consumers. Jackson has a vast number of fans in China. His Chinese fans even contacted us about the possibility of buying the house through crowdfunding,” Ma Ying, spokeswoman for paimai.taobao.com, told the Global Times.
According to Ma, Jackson’s Neverland Ranch has been on sale since May in the US, but no one has put a bid on it.
Neverland Ranch was priced at $100 million in May when it was first put on the market after the singer’s death, according to a Daily Mail report.
Jackson purchased the property in 1987 and moved out in 2005.
Zhang Rui, president of the Michael Jackson Chinese Fan Club, which has more than 400,000 fans, told the Global Times that the fans initially wanted to buy the house through crowdfunding, but they eventually found the tactic would not work.
“We are unable to raise so much money among fans to buy the house. Besides, the maintenance fee for the house is also too high for us,” said Zhang. “I hope a rich Michael fan can buy this house and preserve its original style.”
Taobao Paimai has previously held auctions for the chance to dine with celebrities.
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