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ByteDance Said to Weigh Sale of Stake in Sneaker Reseller Poizon

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(Bloomberg) -- ByteDance Ltd. is considering selling a minority stake in Poizon, an online marketplace for sneakers, according to people familiar with the matter.

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The TikTok owner has engaged in talks about a sale of a low single-digit percentage-point stake, and would prefer to sell to an existing investor, the people said. Poizon, formally known as Shanghai Shizhuang Information Technology Co., is valued at more than $10 billion, they said, asking not to be identified discussing a private matter.

The potential divestment of an interest in the Chinese e-commerce platform is progressing slowly after ByteDance reshuffled its investment arm earlier this year, the people said.

Deliberations are preliminary and ByteDance could still decide to keep the minority position in Poizon, the people said. Representatives for ByteDance and Poizon didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The sale comes after the social media giant, anticipating Beijing will soon move to curtail dealmaking by tech companies, dissolved its venture capital team and launched a major overhaul of its strategic investment group, Bloomberg News reported in January.

ByteDance has exited a number of investments and streamlined its businesses over the past year, after the Chinese government kicked off a bruising regulatory crackdown that engulfed every corner of the internet from education to fintech and e-commerce. The company sold its stake in Indian news aggregation operator VerSe Innovation Pvt. earlier this month, according to a report in local media outlet Mint. In February, ByteDance agreed to sell its trading app to a local brokerage, according to a stock exchange announcement.

Poizon, known as “De Wu” in Chinese, launched an app in 2015 offering information on the latest fashion trends and became an online marketplace two years later, according to its website. It offers to authenticate products before they are resold, preventing users from unexpectedly buying counterfeit items.

Poizon counts Nike Inc., Adidas AG and Nintendo Co. among its brand partners, the website shows. It has about 100 million monthly active users.

Rival startup StockX, a sneaker reseller based in Detroit, said its valuation jumped to $3.8 billion last April with plans to expand globally. It is working with Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on a potential initial public offering, Bloomberg News has reported.

Online sneaker marketplace Goat Group announced a $195 million funding round that more than doubled its valuation to $3.7 billion last year. It signed a sponsorship deal in April with French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain valued at over $50 million, a person familiar with the matter has said.

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