A Chinese auction is a type of auction (actually a combination of auction and raffle) that is typically featured at charity or other fundraising events.In a Chinese auction, bidders are not prospective buyers (as in the conventional English auction). Instead, they buy tickets, which are essentially chances to win items. Bidders may buy as many tickets as they like, and bid them on any item(s) they want by placing them in a basket or other container in front of the item(s) they are trying to win. At the conclusion of bidding, the winning ticket is drawn from the tickets bid on each item, and the item is given to the owner of that ticket.
A bidder may increase their chance of winning by buying and bidding more tickets on a specific item. Although there is generally no limit to the number of tickets a given individual may bid on a specific item, the chance of winning depends on the total number of tickets bid by all individuals.
It is unclear whether this type of auction actually originates in China; it is much more likely that the term derives from “chance auction,” which is also another name for this type of auction.
The Chinese auction is similar to the “silent auction,” with the difference being that in the silent auction bidders submit bids listing specific amounts that they are willing to pay for a specific item.
Video: HSMAI Chinese Auction