Man in China wins auction with S$72,300 bid for 6.91kg durian

Cries in broke.

Fiona Tan | July 29, 2023, 02:20 PM

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A man in China recently dropped RMB 388,888, or approximately S$72,300, for a durian weighing 6.91kg.

The auction

The man placed the winning bid at an auction held in Sanya, Hainan in China, as seen in TikTok user Louis Ong's video.

According to Malaysian news outlet Oriental Daily, this is the first time that durians grown in the city of Sanya have been sold to the public.

In Ong's video, the starting bid for the 6.91kg durian was RMB 888, or S$165.

Things kicked up a notch when a man yelled his bid of RMB 10,000, which is approximately S$1,861.

Winner takes all with RMB 388,888 offer

More bids followed and the bid quickly ballooned from RMB 30,000 (S$5,585) to a whopping RMB 300,000 (S$55,850).

Even the auctioneer appeared slightly taken aback by the turn of events, and thanked bidders for their support.

For a brief moment, the bidding war appeared to come to a close at RMB 300,000, but one person decided to top things off with an offer of RMB 388,888 (S$72,300).

The auctioneer struck the gavel, effectively putting an end to the auction.

Individuals in the audience cheered for the man who won the bid.

Image from Weibo.

@louisong14 海南岛榴莲拍卖 #中国🇨🇳 #FYP #榴莲爱好者 #海南岛 榴莲拍卖会 #Durian #国产榴莲 ♬ original sound - Louis Ong

Chinese durians

Chinese state media CCTV reported in March 2023 that domestically-grown durians were expected to be sold from June 2023.

Sanya had durians planted on about 93 hectares of land as of March 2023.

CCTV wrote that while local farmers tried to cultivate durians some seven decades ago, the survival rate of the trees was "very low". In recent years, they have worked with Southeast Asian countries and Chinese research institutions to tackle the problem, and claim that durian seedling survival rates are now at 98 per cent.

However, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported in June that projected yields for the durians fell "sharply", and cited an expert who estimated that they will only be able to produce about 50 tonnes of durians this year.

The Chinese are expected to consume about one million tonnes of the fruit in 2023.

Chinese consumers' voracious appetite for durians

According to Chinese state media Xinhua News Agency, the country imported US$14.6 billion (S$19.43 billion) of fruits in 2022.

Durians were the most popular, as the country imported US$4.03 billion (S$5.36 billion) of the thorny fruit.

In the first quarter of 2023, China imported 91,000 tonnes of durians, the Q1 highest number in the past five years.

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Top image from Weibo