SHEIN, a Chinese fashion company, has hired Donald Tang, a former Bear Stearns investment banker, as executive vice-chairman as it pushes ahead with an overseas listing, according to market information.
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Mr. Tang, a former banker and entertainment industry executive, has helped many companies build Bridges between China and the United States, but he may face the biggest challenge of his career so far in SHEIN.
The online fashion retailer's valuation reportedly soared to $100 billion earlier this year. Mr. Tang, who helped broker China's CITIC's investment in Bear Stearns and Dalian Wanda's $2.6 billion acquisition of AMC, the U.S. movie theater chain, officially joined the company earlier this year.
Tang Wei has been an adviser to SHEIN's co-founder and CEO Yang Tian Xu for more than a year. He was first introduced to the company by Nanpeng Shen, founding and managing partner of Sequoia China. Mr. Shen is a major investor in SHEIN and is said to have backed one of Mr. Tang's early projects.
The addition of Mr. Tang to SHEIN is an important step in making the fast-fashion company, which is expected to generate nearly $24 billion in revenue this year, more attractive to international investors.
Thanks to countless TikTok and Instagram posts, SHEIN has become one of the most downloaded apps in the world. The posts shared $2 bikinis and a variety of other trendy, low-cost clothing that resonated with Gen Z. But it's also the videos that have gone viral that are raising growing questions about the ethics of fast fashion, such as their impact on the environment and the workers who produce them.
SHEIN has become the fast fashion giants Inditex and H& M's main competitor, but thanks not only to these videos, but also to its data-led business model. The company rolls out thousands of new designs each week on a small-batch order basis, but only the most popular of them go into mass production. In addition, the company gathers consumer cues from its app and social media to drive orders and new clothing designs.
Earlier this year, SHEIN hired two U.S. government lobbyists. Another new hire, Adam Whinston, the firm's head of ESG, has long argued that SHEIN's asset-light model is less disruptive to the retail industry than traditional retailers, which have to manage overstock and unsold inventory each quarter. SHEIN has also launched a used clothing resale platform, following the opening of its first warehouses in the US earlier this year.
The company has also taken steps to reduce its presence in China. Reuters reported earlier this year that the company, founded in 2008 by Xu and three co-founders in Nanjing, China, had designated a Singapore company as its holding company, and Xu himself had become a permanent resident of Singapore.
But while SHEIN doesn't actually sell any clothing in China, much of its supply chain is located in the country's manufacturing heartland, where 90 percent of its suppliers are. Now, the company has moved to expand production internationally and cut shipping costs to its major markets in Europe and North America, but most of its 10,000-plus employees are still based in China.
SHEIN plans to list in New York, according to Reuters. It is an exporter and has a lighter footprint in China than other domestic tech giants, which may mean it can avoid the scrutiny of the previous generation of Chinese unicorns such as Didi, Alibaba and Tencent.
SHEIN still has 90% of the supplier is located in the domestic, in order to promote the operational efficiency of the cross-border, the group and China southern airlines, China southern airlines logistics also signed a strategic cooperation agreement, the two sides will strengthen the support and cooperation, logistics and supply chain by increasing the flight capacity, cross-border cooperation products shipped, expand storage resources development, customized extension of standardized operating procedures.
Japan is SHEIN's new target in the Asian market. On October 22, SHEIN opened its offline experience store "SHEIN POPUP OSAKA" in Shinsaibashi, Chuo District, Osaka, Japan. The event will last for about three months until January 27, 2023.
SHEIN POPUP OSAKA does not sell products directly, but customers can try out the 800 items sold on its website through nine fitting rooms located inside the venue. On the first day of the event, the store attracted a large number of consumers to queue up to enter the store, some of whom queued for up to three hours, causing widespread concern.
This somewhat mysterious electronic commodity brand, from Europe and the United States, all the way to Japan, ambition has already expanded to the global market.
SHEIN, from China, is expected to overtake Swedish HM this year to become the global fast fashion giant second only to Spanish ZARA.
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