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Report: Sen. Marco Rubio Asks SEC to Block Shein IPO

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is reportedly asking the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to prevent fast fashion platform Shein from its bid to list publicly in the U.S. market.

The senator said the company should be prevented from going public unless it makes additional disclosures about its business operations and “the serious risks of doing business” in China, Reuters reported Thursday (Feb. 15).

Rubio reportedly wrote in a letter to SEC Chair Gary Gensler that Shein’s recent decision to request approval from Beijing for a prospective U.S. IPO “raises serious doubts” about the accuracy of the company’s filings, said Reuters, which saw the letter.

China’s security watchdog passed laws in 2023 allowing the China Securities Regulatory Commission to vet offshore listings and block offerings that could threaten the country’s national interests, Reuters said.

Rubio reportedly wrote that those laws raised the risk of Shein deceiving investors about the risks of its business. 

While Shein has its headquarters in Singapore, the company was founded in China.

Shein did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters or PYMNTS.

In November, Shein filed to go public in the U.S., aiming for a 2024 IPO.

The company was valued at $66 billion in May, and reportedly aimed for an even higher valuation.

Earlier this year, however, Shein investors began selling discounted shares, dropping the company’s value to as low as $45 billion.

Despite the discounted rates, Bloomberg reported, those sellers were challenged to find buyers, raising the threat of an even steeper loss in value.

If successful, Shein’s IPO could make it the largest stock offering for a Chinese-originated company since Didi Global’s IPO in 2021. Didi, a ride-hailing giant, delisted from the New York Stock Exchange after being caught in Beijing’s tech crackdown, PYMNTS reported in November. 

The U.S. is Shein’s largest market but it has a presence in over 150 countries. In addition to its own online presence, Shein has been expanding into other areas, such as becoming a marketplace for third-party sellers, putting it in direct competition with established eCommerce giants like Amazon and Temu