Fast-fashion giant Shein reportedly files for IPO

Fast-fashion giant Shein reportedly files for IPO

Shein, the ultra-fast fashion retailer founded in China more than a decade ago, has confidentially filed for an IPO in the United States, according to a person familiar with the proposed transaction, which was not authorized to speak about it publicly. .

Some companies temporarily keep their IPO documents under seal so they can prepare the offering out of the public spotlight.

Investors widely expected Shein to make the move this year, after the historically low-key company began responding to a series of criticisms from consumers and politicians in an apparent attempt to change perceptions of its activity and its practices.

Any public offering in the United States is likely to attract increased regulatory scrutiny, particularly amid strained relations between the United States and China.

Shein’s IPO plans were reported earlier by Chinese media companies.

In recent years, Shein has gained popularity among American consumers, particularly teenagers and young adults, thanks to its wide variety of trendy clothing and accessories at low prices. The company would have recently been valued at 66 billion dollars.

But Shein has also been accused of copying designs and benefiting unequally from a U.S. trade rule that allows it to avoid paying customs fees. And reports linking the company’s cotton to Xinjiang — a region of China where U.S. officials say the government has exploited Uighur labor — has come under scrutiny.

In April, two members of Congress asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to require Shein, as a condition of its planned offering, to certify through an independent party that it does not use forced Uyghur labor . The company said it has “zero tolerance for forced labor.”

Shein also launched a collaboration program with independent designers a few years ago after the retailer was accused of design theft and committed to sustainability goals. It has also partnered with fast fashion mall mainstay Forever 21, which could lead to more Shein clothing in physical stores.

Not all of Shein’s efforts have been well received. In June, a trip organized for influencers to some of its warehouses in China was widely reported on social media as tone-deaf.

Shein declined to comment on the apology.

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David B.Otero

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