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Report: Shein Mulling UK IPO, Deeming US Approval Unlikely

Shein

Shein is reportedly rethinking its U.S. initial public offering (IPO) due to regulatory resistance.

Instead, the fast-fashion brand is weighing going public on the London markets, Bloomberg News reported Monday (Feb. 26), citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

The company — founded in China and now based in Singapore — is in the fledgling stages of examining a U.K. IPO, the sources said, after concluding that it is unlikely that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will approve its listing.

However, Shein is still working on its U.S. IPO application, the sources said, as it would prefer to go public on the American market. Two of the sources told Bloomberg the company could also consider going public in Hong Kong or Singapore.

“Listing on the LSE is a short-term compromise taken by Shein to prioritize certainty overvaluation and liquidity,” said Ke Yan, head of research at DZT Research in Singapore.

When asked if Shein’s move might lead other Chinese firms to go public in London, he added: “Short answer is ‘No’,” as the market is much smaller than the U.S., Hong Kong or China.

PYMNTS has contacted Shein for comment but has not yet received a reply.

If Shein did choose to list in the U.S., its IPO would potentially be 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 the Chinese government’s tech crackdown, PYMNTS reported last year.

The U.S. is Shein’s largest market, although it does business in more than 150 countries. In addition to its existing online presence, Shein has been moving into other areas, such as becoming a marketplace for third-party sellers, placing it in direct competition with established eCommerce players like Amazon and Temu.

However, the company has been facing pushback as it prepares to go public in the U.S. Earlier this month, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) wrote to the SEC asking the regulator to block Shein from going public unless it makes further disclosures about its operations and “the serious risks of doing business” in China.

Rubio argues that Shein’s move last month to seek the Chinese government’s approval of its U.S. IPO “raises serious doubts” about the accuracy of the company’s filings.