Chinese upmarket sneakers trading platform removes sky-high priced shoes
Published: Apr 06, 2021 03:03 PM
The app of Dewu  Photo: VCG

The logo of Dewu Photo: VCG

After a wave of speculation focused on Chinese branded upmarket shoes, which has made headlines in many Chinese news outlets, Dewu, a major second-hand sneakers trading platform in China, said Tuesday that it has removed several sky-high priced shoes by users, and will strengthen regulations on shoes speculation.

In the past few days, several fancy shoes listed on the platform including the Li-Ning Way of Wade 4 - basketball shoes jointly designed by Chinese sportswear supplier Li-Ning and NBA star Dwyane Tyrone Wade have made headlines as the listed prices exceeded the official price by as much as 31 times.

The Wade 4 was released several years ago with the official price of 1,499 yuan ($228), however, due to the limited supply and low availability on the market, the listed price on Dewu hit 48,889 yuan, even though there was no trading record.

The listed price of Doraemon-themed casual shoes designed by Chinese sportswear supplier Anta on the platform was 4,599 yuan - eight times higher than the original price of 499 yuan.

The eye-popping prices soon grabbed consumer attention, with many netizens saying the price of domestic shoes are becoming unaffordable, adversely impacting quality of life.  

Following the incident, Dewu released a statement late Monday, saying that after inspection, the platform found that price of three shoes including the two mentioned above were set by individual users, and there had been none, or very few sales for these styles.

"Due to the high fluctuations of these sneakers, the platform has removed these three shoes... In addition, the platform also removed 20 shoes that have the similar price fluctuation, and suspended individual accounts of three sellers who are suspected to have intentionally influenced the price fluctuations," the platform said.

The story behind this wave of speculation on domestic footwear is that, as the stances of some global sportswear brands - including Nike and Adidas - toward cotton grown in Northwest China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region have gone viral about half month ago, buying domestic shoes to support national brands has become a trend among many Chinese consumers.

And money and shoe scalpers who used to focus on foreign brands have quickly shifted their focus to domestic brands following the trend.

Committee of Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee's official social media account said that patriotism should not involve speculation, and that shoe scalpers are taking advantages of people's patriotism to make money, which should be condemned.

The account also warned that "appropriate marketing would increase consumers' shopping willingness, but immoderate speculation on shoes is totally a capital game.

"Some people disregard the public interest, challenge industry rules and undermine the healthy development of the market, which is behind the formation of a grey industrial chain," the account said.