NBA star’s brand of shoes jump to US$3,300 thanks to online speculators
China is mourning the loss of Kobe Bryant, one of the NBA's all-time greats and a favorite player among the country's millions of basketball fans. But some have also decided to cash in on the basketball player's popularity by reselling Nike's special edition Kobe sneakers at exorbitant prices, with some listed for as much as 23,000 yuan (US$3,300).
Online sneaker traders have angered fans, resulting in calls to stop buying Kobe shoes trending on Weibo. Poizon, a popular trading platform that reached unicorn status last year, announced on Monday that it's temporarily removing Kobe Bryant merchandise and warned against malicious speculation and hoarding.
Sneaker trading is popular in China, where a number of platforms have popped up to serve local sneakerheads. Poizon, DoNew and Nice are among the most popular. But the business has also drawn a warning from the country's central bank, which said that the popular hobby is wading in financially murky waters. Last year, one pair of Air Jordans sold for an eye-popping US$10,740. But Chinese platforms aren't the only ones taking advantage of the increased interest in Kobe shoes: Foreign sneaker exchanges like StockX have recorded 50 percent price increases.
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