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Shein Reportedly Set to File for UK IPO

Shein

Shein reportedly plans to file to list on the London Stock Exchange confidentially.

The filing from the online fast fashion giant could come in the next few days, the Financial Times (FT) reported late Sunday (June 2), citing sources familiar with the matter.

As the report notes, Shein had been weighing a U.K. listing after tensions between China and the U.S. held up its plans for an initial public offering (IPO) in New York. Executive Chair Donald Tang had told the FT in May that the company had made “progress” on shifting the perception that the retailer was controlled by Beijing “but not enough” to win over American lawmakers.

Although founded in China, Shein is now based in Singapore. It no longer does business in China, though most of its suppliers are based there.

The company has received pushback in the U.S. from legislators such as Sen. Marco Rubio. The Florida Republican asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in February to block Shein from listing unless it agreed to further disclosures about its business operations and “the serious risks of doing business” in China.

Rubio wrote to SEC Chair Gary Gensler that Shein’s decision to get the Chinese government’s approval for a possible IPO on the U.S. markets “raises serious doubts” about the accuracy of the company’s filings.

Meanwhile, the company has also been criticized for its supply chain, with a recent report by Swiss human rights group Public Eye claiming that workers for some of its suppliers were still working 75 hours per week, in spite of the retailer promising to improve conditions.

And last month brought a report from CNBC that Shein was trying to become a member of the National Retail Federation (NRF), but without much luck. An NRF spokesperson told PYMNTS at the time that the group does not comment on its “membership process or on individual retailers.”

The FT report also notes that a listing by Shein — valued at $66 billion in its most recent funding round — would be a “coup” for London’s exchange, which has been losing listings to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq.

For example, Flutter Entertainment, which owns FanDuel, said last month that it was moving its primary listing from London to the NYSE.

“We believe a U.S. primary listing is the natural home for Flutter given Fanduel’s No. 1 position in the U.S., a market which we expect to contribute the largest proportion of profits in the near future,” Flutter CEO Peter Jackson said earlier this year.

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