Fast fashion giant Shein is said to have filed for an initial public offering (IPO)

Shein, the ultra-fast fashion retailer founded in China more than a decade ago, has confidentially filed for an initial public offering in the United States, according to a person familiar with the deal plans, who was not authorized to speak publicly about it. .

Some companies temporarily keep their IPO paperwork under seal so they can prepare for the offering out of the public eye.

Investors had largely expected Shein to make the move this year, after the historically secretive company began addressing a series of criticisms from consumers and politicians in an apparent attempt to change perceptions about its business and practices.

Any public offering in the United States is likely to draw significant regulatory scrutiny, particularly amid strained relations between the United States and China.

Shein’s plans for an IPO were previously reported by Chinese media companies.

In recent years, Shein has gained popularity among American consumers, especially teenagers and young adults, for its wide variety of low-priced fashion clothing and accessories. The company was reportedly most recently valued at 66 billion dollars.

But Shein has also faced accusations of having copied designs and benefiting unequally from a US trade rule that allows it to avoid paying customs fees. AND reports Linking the company’s cotton to Xinjiang — a region of China where U.S. officials say the government has exploited ethnic Uyghur labor — has drawn intense scrutiny.

In April, two members of Congress asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to require Shein, as a condition of its expected offer, to certify through an independent party that it does not use Uyghur forced labor. The company has said it has “zero tolerance for forced labor.”

Shein also started a program a few years ago to collaborate with independent designers after the retailer was accused of stealing designs, and committed to sustainability goals. He has also partnered with fast-fashion mall stalwart Forever 21, which could lead to more Shein clothing in brick-and-mortar stores.

Not all of Shein’s efforts were well received. In June, a trip she organized for influencers at some of her stores in China was widely criticized on social media for being tone-deaf.

A Shein spokeswoman declined to comment.