Beijing's fifth annual public auction season for antique artworks started on Friday.
The season, which will last until late November, brings together 12 Beijing-based auction houses and hosts 42 auctions.
This will be the first year in which most of the auctions — 23 — take place online, says deputy director of Beijing's municipal administration of cultural heritage, Xiang Dechun.
The inventory includes about 60,000 artifacts in five major categories — jade and porcelain, furniture, stationery, painting and calligraphy, and Western antiques.
Xiang says prices will generally be affordable.
Beijing's auction season is a major event, promoting knowledge about cultural heritage and collecting. A series of free brochures will explain art appraisal and relevant laws.
Beijing's turnover of auctioned antique artworks reached 20.3 billion yuan ($3.15 billion) last year, accounting for nearly half the world's total, China Association of Auctioneers Deputy Director Liu Youzheng says.
"It shows Beijing has become a world-class art auction hub, alongside New York, London and Hong Kong," he says.
"More public participation will expand the city's role in other art auction fields."