Shein registers for US IPO, Trump SPAC insider trading & more | E1771 | Summary and Q&A

June 30, 2023
This Week in Startups
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Shein registers for US IPO, Trump SPAC insider trading & more | E1771


Sheen registers for a US IPO, denies allegations of using forced labor, and faces backlash after flying Tick-Tock influencers to its factories in China.

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Key Insights

  • 🤨 Sheen's IPO registration has raised concerns about its ethical labor practices and potential violations of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.
  • 🎞️ The company's efforts to improve its image through a Tick-Tock influencer trip backfired, resulting in intense backlash and accusations of greenwashing.
  • 🤨 The involvement of a director from the SPAC involved in Sheen's merger under investigation for insider trading raises further doubts about the company's credibility.
  • 😓 The Trump media and Technology Group's slow SPAC process and recent insider trading charges have cast additional shadow on the potential success of the merger.
  • 🔉 Trump's consideration of returning to Twitter highlights his reliance on social media platforms and their role in shaping public opinion.


and last week Sheen flew some Tick-Tock influencers that are Americans do it but two I wish the way you queued it up and it's like how do we solve this problem it's like yeah you know instead of paying people 16 and making people work 16 hours a day like maybe cap it at 12. yeah nope it's like no better solution yeah we'll get private jets first cl... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the controversy surrounding Sheen and its IPO registration?

Sheen has faced criticism for allegations of using forced labor and violating the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which has led to concerns about its ethical labor practices.

Q: What was the purpose of the Tick-Tock influencer trip to Sheen factories?

Sheen flew Tick-Tock influencers to its factories in an attempt to boost its image and showcase allegedly positive working conditions. However, the influencers faced backlash for their promotional content.

Q: How did the influencers respond to the backlash?

One influencer initially defended Sheen and praised the working conditions but later issued an apology video, claimed to have terminated her relationship with the company, and vowed to be more informed and accountable in the future.

Q: What is the status of Sheen's IPO and the allegations against the company?

Sheen's IPO registration is currently under investigation by the SEC and FINRA. The outcome remains uncertain, and the allegations of labor violations continue to be debated.


In this video, the topic of discussion is Shein, a fast fashion retailer that has recently registered for a US IPO. The company, valued at $66 billion, has faced allegations of ethical labor practices, including the use of forced labor. Additionally, there have been reports of long working hours, low wages, and deductions from worker wages for mistakes made in the production process. Shein attempted to improve its image by flying American TikTok influencers to tour its factories in China, but the move backfired and faced significant backlash.

Questions & Answers

Q: What allegations has Shein faced regarding its labor practices?

Shein has faced allegations of using forced labor, particularly from the Uyghur ethnic minority in China's Xinjiang Province. There have been reports of Shein fabric testing positive for cotton produced in the region, where forced labor is said to occur. Additionally, workers at Shein have been subject to long working hours, with only one day off a month, and low wages.

Q: What is the concept of fast fashion?

Fast fashion is a business model in the retail industry where companies create affordable replicas or knockoffs of recent high-end fashion trends. These items are produced quickly and at a low cost, allowing retailers to quickly bring them to stores when demand is high. Fast fashion has been criticized for its negative environmental impact, as well as its exploitative labor practices.

Q: How has Shein responded to the allegations?

Shein has denied the allegations of using forced labor and has stated that it has a zero-tolerance policy towards forced labor. In response to the controversies, the company has pledged to spend $15 million over the next few years to enhance factories and provide better training for workers.

Q: Why did Shein fly TikTok influencers to tour its factories in China?

The purpose of flying TikTok influencers to tour Shein's factories was to improve the company's image and boost its reputation. Shein hoped that the influencers' positive experiences and endorsements would help counter the negative publicity surrounding its labor practices.

Q: What was the reaction to the influencers' visit to Shein's factories?

The influencers' visit to Shein's factories faced a strong backlash. One influencer's TikTok video, highlighting the clean and automated aspects of the factories, went viral but was later deleted due to the negative response. Critics argued that the influencers' visit was a mere attempt to distract from the serious labor issues at Shein.

Q: Has Shein's IPO registration faced opposition?

Yes, 24 US representatives from both parties opposed Shein's IPO registration and requested the SEC to verify the company's labor practices. They called for an independent audit to ensure that Shein does not use forced labor, particularly in compliance with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.

Q: What are the potential risks for investors in Shein's IPO?

Investing in Shein's IPO comes with significant risks, particularly due to the company's labor controversies. Regulatory scrutiny and potential legal action can impact the company's reputation and performance. The volatile nature of Chinese IPOs, exemplified by the case of Didi, also suggests potential risks for investors.

Q: How has the controversy around Shein impacted discussions on human rights and engagement with China?

The controversy surrounding Shein has sparked discussions on human rights, ethical labor practices, and engagement with China. It highlights the importance of considering labor conditions and the impact of businesses on workers, as well as the need for international collaboration on these issues. The debate raises questions about the responsibility of companies, investors, and consumers in supporting or opposing businesses with controversial labor practices.

Q: Should consumers and investors consider labor practices when supporting fast fashion companies?

Yes, consumers and investors should consider labor practices when supporting fast fashion companies. By choosing to support companies with ethical labor practices, consumers can contribute to positive change in the industry. Similarly, investors have a responsibility to thoroughly assess companies' labor practices and make informed decisions about their investments, considering the potential social and ethical impact.

Q: What are the key takeaways from the discussion on Shein's labor controversies?

The labor controversies surrounding Shein serve as a reminder of the issues associated with fast fashion and the fashion industry at large. They highlight the need for greater transparency, fair labor practices, and environmental sustainability in the fashion industry. Additionally, the controversies shed light on the importance of discussions on human rights, engagement with China, and corporate responsibility.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Sheen, a fast-fashion retailer valued at $66 billion, has registered for a US IPO, sparking debate about its ethical labor practices.

  • Reports suggest that Sheen has violated the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act by using cotton produced in Xinjiang Province.

  • Tick-Tock influencers visited Sheen factories on a trip organized by the company, leading to controversy and allegations of greenwashing.

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