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U.S. Officials Scrutinize Shein’s Data Practices Amid IPO Plans

2023.12.21

 

Key Takeaways

  • House Committee questions Shein’s data security and links with the Chinese government.
  • Lawmakers also inquire about Shein’s labor practices and the use of forced labor in its supply chain.

Congressional Probe into Shein’s Operations

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce, led by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, has raised concerns over Shein’s data privacy practices and connections with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). As Shein moves towards a U.S. initial public offering, lawmakers, including Subcommittee Chair Rep. Gus Bilirakis, seek detailed information on the fast-fashion giant’s handling of user data and its compliance with Chinese laws that could compromise data security.

Data Privacy and Security at the Forefront

The committee’s inquiry into Shein’s operations aligns with broader concerns regarding Chinese-owned e-commerce platforms operating in Western markets. Lawmakers’ questions extend to the types of user data collected by Shein, including sensitive information like biometric and health data, as well as religious and political beliefs. The focus on data privacy indicates a significant shift from previous inquiries primarily centered on labor practices.

Addressing Forced Labor Concerns

In addition to data security, the committee’s letter also touches on Shein’s use of forced labor in its supply chain. The lawmakers ask for clarification on Shein’s stance regarding the alleged genocide in China’s Xinjiang region and whether the company can confidently declare its supply chain free from forced labor. This inquiry reflects ongoing global concerns about human rights violations in the fashion industry’s supply chains.

Shein’s Response and Implications

Responding to the committee’s letter, a Shein spokesperson stated the company’s intent to provide answers. Shein previously mentioned that its U.S. user data is stored in American data centers, but lawmakers remain wary of potential Chinese government access. As Shein identifies as a global company with strong ties to China, its data handling and supply chain practices are under close scrutiny, especially in the context of its impending U.S. IPO.

 


More content from CoinRank:

Shein’s IPO Scrutinized by Lawmakers Amid Forced Labor Concerns

Shein’s Confidential IPO Filing: The Fashion Giant’s Public Debut

 

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