U.S. online sneaker marketplace GOAT is launching a new app in China, according to a report by Fortune. The app launch party, held in Shanghai on Friday, featured several NBA stars, including Houston Rockets star PJ Tucker.
“We’re going to where some of our biggest consumers are to make sure we can best serve them,” GOAT CEO and co-founder Eddy Lu told Fortune. “Our Chinese customers are really passionate, and in a country where 1.4 billion people live, they really want to stand out.” GOAT currently has more than 15 million users worldwide.
Revenue in the athletic footwear market in China is estimated at $9.5 billion U.S. this year, according to market research company Statista. But GOAT expects that figure to get much bigger, Lu said, estimating that the Chinese sneaker market will be bigger than the U.S. by 2025.
Chinese customers have been using GOAT’s original app, but Lu said several customers would complain via social media sites, including Weibo and WeChat, about shipping issues. Unlike America, parts of China, including Hong Kong and Macau, don’t use zip codes.
GOAT will also be looking to expand beyond its current 10,000 square-foot-facility in Hong Kong to meet its growing customer base.
The company will be facing stiff competition, with rival StockX announcing that it too plans to enter the China market, and a host of domestic rivals also taking shape. Chinese deadstock marketplace Nice (AKA, NiceHaoHuo) recently raised “tens of millions” of dollars in a Series D funding round led by the TPG-Softbank joint venture fund and Vision Capital. China’s largest sneaker trading platform Poizon raised a round valuing it at $1 billion U.S. in May, while 58.com’s c-to-c marketplace Zhuan Zhuan launched its own counterpart QieKe, also in May.