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Report: Shein Confidentially Files for IPO in London

Shein

Shein has reported confidentially filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in London.

This move doesn’t necessarily mean the IPO will happen in London, as Shein would prefer to go public in the United States, CNBC reported Monday (June 24), citing unnamed sources.

Shein did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment.

The company confidentially filed for an IPO in the U.S. in November, but political pressure and other challenges have made a U.S. IPO increasingly unlikely, according to the report.

London has emerged as an alternative site that would allow Shein to go public without may of the hurdles it faces in the U.S., per the report.

A Shein IPO in London would require approval from both the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (SCRC), Reuters reported Monday.

FCA’s vetting and decision-making process typically takes a couple of months, after which Shein would begin a four-week process that leads to trading, according to the report.

The Labour Party, which is expected to take power in a July 4 election, has indicated its support for a potential London listing by Shein, per the report.

It has become increasingly difficult for Shein to go public in the U.S. because of tensions between the U.S. and China — the country in which Shein was founded, though it is now headquartered in Singapore.

Shein has faced bipartisan public scrutiny in the U.S. due to concerns over national security, alleged links to forced labor and claims of an unfair competitive advantage. Some of these concerns center on questions about the company’s relationship with China and its potential impact on data privacy and security.

Federal and state officials have called on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to scrutinize or even block the offering.

Shein launched its initial online fashion venture in China in 2012 and has become a heavyweight in the online arena by offering clothing and various items at remarkably affordable prices, all while staying attuned to the latest fashion trends and harnessing the power of vigorous marketing.

By 2022, the company declared itself the “most searched fashion brand in the world.”

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