Shein Edges Closer to London Stock Exchange Listing Amid Controversies.

4 min read

( Wed. 26th June, 2024) London, UK —

“Fast Fashion Giant Shein Submits Paperwork for Potential £50bn London Listing”

Chinese fast fashion giant Shein has moved closer to listing on the London Stock Exchange after submitting initial paperwork, sources suggest. The online retailer, headquartered in Singapore but with substantial operations in China, has filed confidential documents with UK regulators, according to insiders.

Shein surged to become one of the world's largest fashion retailers during the pandemic but has faced criticism for its environmental impact and alleged poor working conditions. Accusations of forced labour within its supply chain, which the company denies, have also plagued its reputation.

Neither Shein nor the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have commented on the potential London listing, which could value the firm at approximately £50 billion.

#US Warning to UK

A company aiming to sell shares in the UK must first submit a detailed prospectus for FCA approval. Filing these papers is an initial step towards a London Stock Exchange listing but does not guarantee it will proceed.

Originally, a US listing seemed more likely after Shein filed papers there last year. However, this move faced intense scrutiny from both Republican and Democrat politicians due to concerns about Shein’s ties to China.

Earlier this month, Marco Rubio, a senior Republican on the US Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote to UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, expressing “grave ethics concerns” and highlighting Shein’s “deep ties to the People’s Republic of China.” Rubio stated, “Slave labour, sweatshops, and trade tricks are the dirty secrets behind Shein’s success.”

Rubio urged the UK to investigate the allegations seriously, citing the UK’s history of abolitionism.

A Shein spokesperson responded, “Shein has a zero-tolerance policy for forced labour and is committed to respecting human rights. We ensure our contract manufacturers source cotton only from approved regions.”

UK MPs have voiced their concerns, yet Labour’s shadow business secretary, Jonathan Reynolds, indicated support for a London listing, suggesting it would increase scrutiny on the company.

During a business election debate hosted by Bloomberg, Reynolds mentioned he had met with Shein representatives. “If they’re doing business in the UK, we should regulate them from the UK. High standards on labour and regulatory compliance are best enforced if they’re based here.”


Conversely, Conservative Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch expressed concerns over the listing, particularly regarding Shein’s business model of sending small packages directly to UK customers, potentially reducing tax revenue. She also highlighted the need to address allegations of forced labour.

The British Fashion Council (BFC) also urged caution. BFC CEO Caroline Rush stated, “Fashion businesses, including Shein, must embrace corporate due diligence in their supply chains. We encourage the UK government and the FCA to ensure any business listing in London is a responsible leader, addressing compliance and sustainability concerns.”

Despite these issues, a potential Shein listing could be a significant boost for London, which has seen several high-profile companies relocate to the US. Julia Hoggett, head of the London Stock Exchange, recently told the BBC that the listing would promote transparency. “Being on public markets is an opportunity to raise the bar in corporate governance and investor relations,” she said.

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