China’s largest sneaker resale platform Dewu took advantage of a heightened interest in locally-made footwear by hiking up the prices of limited edition footwear.
According to Chinese state-owned Global Times, several limited edition drops were being resold at much higher prices than their original listings. The All Star version of Li-Ning‘s Way of Wade 4 shoe was being listed on the resale site for 48,889 RMB ($7,463 USD) — roughly 31 times the original retail price of 1,499 RMB ($228 USD).
Another shoe by Chinese sportswear brand ANTA was listed for 4,599 RMB ($703 USD), a huge markup from the original price of 499 RMB ($76 USD).
On Monday, Dewu released a statement explaining that it had removed these shoes from its site. ”Due to the high fluctuations of these sneakers, the platform has removed these three shoes,” it said. “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.”
Renewed interest in purchasing Chinese-made footwear follows controversy over statements recently released by major global brands, including Nike and Adidas, over materials made in China’s Xinjiang region. The retailers have released statements pledging not to use suppliers who sourced materials from the region over reports of forced labor. China has denied the allegations.
The statements from the footwear giants received backlash on Chinese social media and calls were made to support local fashion retailers instead. Sneaker resellers took advantage of the speculation, which contributed to the price gouging.
In March, Li-Ning announced its annual financial results for 2020, noting a revenue increase of 4.2 percent year-on-year.
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