• Xtep, a Chinese sportswear company, sells NFTs for a greater price than its own trainers

  • Xtep, a Chinese sportswear company, has hopped on the non-fungible token (NFT) bandwagon with the launching of a series of digital trainers, as consumer companies both inside and outside China aim to cash in on the digital assets’ appeal.

    Xtep delivered 321 NFTs, or digital collectibles as they are known in China, of virtual running shoes at a press conference on Sunday night as the company revealed a variety of new sportswear.

    The “160X-Metaverse” NFTs, according to Xtep, sold out in 70 minutes. Each NFT costs 1,603 yuan (US$251), which is higher than the genuine 160X running shoes, which cost 999 yuan each.

    According to a statement released by Xtep, the company is employing blockchain technology to establish a “Runner’s Metaverse” and a “sports Plus digital economy” model. The corporation did not respond to a request for more information from the Post about its larger metaverse intentions.

    Xtep is one of a slew of consumer businesses that have begun to sell their products utilizing NFTs and the metaverse concept.

    NFTs are data that is added to a blockchain to reflect the ownership and uniqueness of a digital asset, whereas the metaverse is a broad term for a notional virtual world in which digital representations of individuals can interact in ways that are comparable to how they do in real life. In the year 2021, both phrases erupted into the public consciousness.

    After launching a mini game on Roblox, a gaming platform that allows players to create their own experiences, Nike paid an undisclosed amount in December to purchase the NFT studio and virtual sneaker designer RTFKT.

    Anta, a Chinese sports gear business, also launched 7,000 digital collectibles themed after the Beijing Winter Olympics in January, which Anta’s chief marketing officer Lydia Zhu said was part of the firm’s larger marketing efforts. Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Givenchy are among the luxury fashion houses that have entered the NFT market.

    While its animosity for cryptocurrencies, Beijing has tolerated activity involving NFTs in China so far, despite regularly raising concerns about bubbles and speculative risks associated with the assets.

    China’s largest IT businesses have been cautious in their exploration of the usage of NFTs, selling them in yuan rather than cryptocurrencies as is the case elsewhere, and prohibiting buyers from reselling the NFTs they have purchased.

    Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group Holdings, both internet giants, have tightened the laws that apply to NFTs on their platforms.

    Xtep warned buyers not to use the NFT in illegal ways, such as hyping them up, trading them over the counter, or engaging in fraudulent operations, in a warning on the company’s NFT sales website.

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