Chinese fast-fashion cross-border e-commerce platform, Shein, has secretly submitted an application to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to prepare for a U.S. listing, reported Chinese media Tencent News. Shein’s initial public offering (IPO) will be one of the largest in the U.S. securities market in recent years.
As of its last round of financing in May, 2023, Shein was valued at $66 billion. The company seeks to go public as early as next year at a higher valuation. Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Morgan Stanley have been hired as the main underwriters for Shein’s IPO. So far, Shein, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Morgan Stanley have not commented on this matter.
According to previous reports, Shein has indicated to potential investors that it aims to go public with a valuation of $80 billion to $90 billion.
In the last round of financing in May 2023, Shein raised $2 billion, with the latest valuation after financing being $66 billion, a decrease from the $100 billion valuation when it raised funds in April 2022. Insiders revealed that Shein’s shares were recently traded on the secondary market with a valuation of approximately $50 billion to $60 billion. While the valuation in private transactions may not necessarily reflect the actual valuation of the company, this discrepancy highlights investors’ concerns about the challenges faced by Shein, including intensified competition and copyright infringement allegations, which could also complicate Shein’s listing.
Shein was established in China over a decade ago and recently relocated its headquarters to Singapore. Earlier this year, Shein hired former SoftBank executive Marcelo Claure to help operate its Latin American business.
Shein has also been seeking diversification in its operations. In August, the company announced its first major expansion into physical retail by partnering with Sparc Group. In October, Shein made another move by acquiring the well-known brand Missguided from the UK fashion retail group Frasers.
Meanwhile, Shein is facing fierce competition from Temu, a Chinese e-commerce giant under Pinduoduo. In May, Temu’s sales in the US market surpassed Shein for the first time; in September, Temu’s sales reached more than double that of Shein. Currently, both companies have taken legal action against each other. Shein accuses Temu of trademark and copyright infringement, while Temu believes that Shein uses bullying tactics to prevent clothing manufacturers from cooperating with their platform, violating anti-monopoly laws. Shein claims that this lawsuit has no legal basis and the company will actively defend itself.