Shein, the Chinese-founded fast-fashion retailer, has reportedly filed confidentially for an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States. The company, last valued at $66 billion, could begin trading on public markets as early as 2024. While the current valuation is uncertain, it has been a point of discussion among Shein and its advisors. A confidential filing allows companies to communicate with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and make adjustments to their filings privately. Shein is expected to refine its paperwork and address questions from the SEC over the coming months. The filing will become public when the company decides to proceed with its IPO.
Shein has experienced rapid growth in recent years, gaining global popularity for its fashionable designs, extensive product range, and affordable prices. However, the company has faced challenges, including allegations of using forced labor in its supply chain, violating labor laws, environmental harm, and design theft from independent artists. Shein is currently under investigation by the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, and lawmakers have raised concerns about forced labor in its supply chain.
Marcelo Claure, the company’s group vice chair, has stated that Shein is cooperating with lawmakers and addressing concerns about forced labor. The company has acknowledged instances of forced labor in its supply chain and is taking corrective actions. Shein’s IPO preparations have included becoming more transparent, engaging with the media, hosting pop-up events, and acquiring a stake in Sparc Group, a joint venture with Authentic Brands Group and Simon Property Group.
To strengthen its IPO bid, Shein has partnered with former rival Forever 21 to introduce a co-branded clothing line. The company still faces challenges, including gaining trust from U.S. regulators and addressing questions about its CEO, Sky Xu, who remains a mysterious figure and does not give public interviews. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley are reported to be the lead underwriters for Shein’s IPO.
Shein’s move to go public reflects its ambitious expansion plans and the growing influence of Chinese companies in the global marketplace.