While Alibaba's Jack Ma is one of the most admired entrepreneurs in China and numbers among the richest men in the world, not many think of him when it comes to art.
Which is why it came as quite a surprise to many when his name unexpectedly appeared on the Hurun Art List for 2016.
A painting Ma worked on together with renowned Chinese artist Zeng Fanzhi ranked at No.4 on Hurun's Top 100 Most Expensive Artworks from a Living Artist list, after it was auctioned by Sotheby's for $5.3 million.
"I never would have thought that Jack Ma would appear on an art list," Rupert Hoogewerf, the founder of the Hurun Report, said at a press conference for the list on Thursday, adding that he believes the entrepreneur's appearance on the list will be sure to cause the public to pay more attention to the art market.
Seventy-two-year-old artist Cui Ruzhuo once again topped the list of the Best-Selling Living Chinese Artists with sales at public auctions last year reaching 120 million dollars. Four of the 10 most expensive Chinese works sold at public auctions in 2015 were by Cui.
Accepting the award for the top spot, Cui pointed out that considering the impressive economic growth China has accomplished, "it is strange that no Chinese artist has made it into the list of the world's top artists."
Cui expressed the hope that Chinese artists could continue their efforts to shine a light upon Chinese art and the country's art market.