Chinese online fashion retailer Shein has refuted Reuters‘ report that said it had confidentially registered with US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering (IPO) in New York, reported CNBC.

A Shein spokesperson told CNBC: “Shein denies these rumours.”

Citing sources aware of the matter, a Reuters report on 29 June 2023 claimed that the stock market debut of Shein could come before the end of this year.

Set up in 2012 by Chris Xu, the online retailer offers a budget-friendly, wide range of men’s and women’s apparel.

According to Reuters, the online retailer is valued at more than $60bn.

Shein is said to be under scrutiny by US lawmakers over its labour practices. A report from a US House committee accuses Shein of allegedly exploiting loopholes in the US import tariff law.

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By GlobalData

In June, this panel exploring economic competition between the two countries stated that the company has not been paying import tariffs or making its shipments subject to a review of human rights.

However, a Shein spokesperson told CNBC last week that its policy is to comply with the customs and import laws of the countries where it has operations.

The spokesperson had said: “Shein continues to make import compliance a priority, including the reporting requirements under US law with respect to de minimis entries.”

Shein has been scrutinised for alleged forced labour at its supplier factories in the Uyghur region.

In May, bipartisan lawmakers urged the SEC to require the retailer to disclose potential forced labour practices ahead of its possible IPO in the US.

It has been accused of allegedly falsifying reports of forced or even underpaid labour at its supplier facilities, some of which are claimed to be located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.

However, Shein said it has no suppliers in this region.

In May, Shein’s spokesperson told CNBC: “As a global company, Shein takes visibility across our entire supply chain seriously. We are committed to respecting human rights and adhering to local laws and regulations in each market we operate in.

“Our suppliers must adhere to a strict code of conduct that is aligned to the International Labour Organisation’s core conventions. We have zero tolerance for forced labour.”

According to the Reuters report, more than a year ago, Shein shifted its headquarters to Singapore from Nanjing in China to evade the stringent new rules of China on overseas listings.