A high-end sneaker trading mania has taken hold in China, prompting the Chinese central bank to send out a warning that the market bubble for sneakers is overheating and likely to burst.
Chinese youth are trading high-end sneakers as if they were stocks with the help of new, convenient smartphone apps, pushing the market to speculative levels, with prices trending far above original retail price tags, according to a Nikkei Asian Review.
The explosive growth in popularity for sneakers has seen a number of trading platforms emerge, registering robust daily transactions of shoes.
The trading volume of the Du APP platform — a mobile advertising platform developed by the Chinese web services company and search engine operator Baidu — is forecast to reach around $847 million this year, according to China Daily.
“Trading sneakers is not so different from trading stocks,” said Wang Zhichen, a 32-year-old client manager at a Shanghai mobile-payments firm, in a Wall Street Journal report. “You need to watch the opening and closing prices.”
The frenzy for sneakers is so prevalent among Chinese youth that some are even trading ownership of the shoes without ever physically acquiring them.
Chinese authorities are worried that these traders, who are eager to trade successfully as their parents did in real estate and stocks, could rack up debt while investing in sneakers only to be left with nothing when the bubble bursts.
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