Shein’s $66bn London IPO Plans Revealed: Uncovering Forced Labor Allegations and Regulatory Hurdles

London, UK – Online fast fashion giant Shein is considering a potential public offering (IPO) that could value the company at approximately $66 billion. The company, originally founded in China and now based in Singapore, is looking to launch its London share listing amid regulatory challenges and heightened scrutiny in the United States.

While Shein has faced allegations of unethical business practices, including forced labor, the company is reportedly in the process of filing confidential paperwork with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority to pave the way for a significant stock market listing in London. Initial reports suggested that the IPO could happen as early as this week, but there is a possibility that it may be delayed until later in June.

Shein had previously made moves towards a New York listing, but encountered pushback from US lawmakers over concerns about its ties to China amidst escalating tensions between the US and Beijing. The company has adamantly denied any involvement in forced labor practices and is committed to addressing the issues raised by critics.

In a recent investigation by Swiss advocacy group Public Eye, concerns were raised about excessive overtime among Shein’s suppliers in the Chinese manufacturing hub of Guangzhou. Despite Shein’s efforts to improve working conditions and address the findings of the investigation, questions persist about the company’s supply chain practices.

Shein’s rapid growth since its inception in 2008, coupled with its strategic use of social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, has cemented its position as a global fashion powerhouse. By partnering with thousands of third-party suppliers and manufacturers, Shein has been able to quickly bring new clothing items to market, a key factor in its success during the pandemic lockdowns.

As Shein prepares for its potential London share listing, the fashion retailer faces both challenges and opportunities in navigating the complex landscape of ethical sourcing and corporate responsibility. With its eye on the future, Shein continues to evolve its business model while striving to address the concerns raised by stakeholders and watchdog groups.