Behind Shein: China fast fashion retailer taking the world by storm


China’s fast fashion cross-border e-commerce retailer Shein is little known within the country itself but its profile overseas continues to rise. Just Style investigates the secret behind its success amidst a landscape of US-China tariffs and supply chain challenges.

In May 2021 and again in January 2022, Shein app downloads exceeded those of international e-commerce giant Amazon, according to Chinese- language news daily BJ News. While, Reuters reports estimated the company may have generated about Chinese Yuan Renminbi CNY100 billion (US$15.7bn) in revenue in 2021 as the Covid-19 pandemic shifted global consumption online.

In December 2021, Shein’s secretive founder, Xu Yangtian (also called Chris Yu), went to Brazil to inspect the Brazilian clothing supply chain to speed up the localisation process in the world’s fifth-most populous country and the world’s fifth largest cotton producer, said Chinese online news service 36kr.

This February, media reports, such as those from Reuters claimed Shein had hired Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase to lead a Shein stock exchange listing IPO in the US.

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