Shein’s IPO in London faces economic and political setbacks

Chinese e-commerce platform She in is faced with reactions from politicians and major British fund managers about the planned IPO in London.

The kickbacks are due to concerns over workers’ rights after a Channel 4 investigation in 2022 found some Chinese workers were working 18 hours a day and paid as little as 3 cents per garment.

London competes with New York for its £35 billion business, which would immediately put it on the FTSE 100 list.

Shein’s profits more than doubled in April to $2 billion (£1.6 billion) and is now valued at $100 billion (£78.3 billion).

Senior politicians have demanded greater scrutiny of the company, including Alicia Kearns, the Conservative chair of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, who said: “With Shein prices so low, the London Stock Exchange must ask itself: whose suffering is lowering those prices?

“A company that has failed to make full disclosures about its supply chains, as required by UK law, and where there are serious concerns about working conditions in its factories, has no place in London.”

Sarah Champion, Labor chair of the International Development Commission, also commented: “Transparency in supply chains is vital and something that all governments should demand.

“Serious concerns have been raised about Shein’s use of modern slavery, which must be investigated.”

Several top fund managers are likely to turn their backs on the IPO, including M&G, Schroders and Aviva Investors.

The UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) said it did not want London to become “a last resort for companies with poor human rights records”.

Shein stepped up plans for its record-breaking IPO on the London Stock Exchange earlier in May, following regulatory roadblocks between China and the US.

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