back to article SHEIN has the look of America's next tech-meets-geopolitics fit-up

Another battle is brewing over a Chinese tech startup that's become a big hit in the USA. This time all eyes are on fast fashion e-commerce outfit SHEIN, which allegedly keeps its prices low by exploiting a loophole to avoid paying taxes. SHEIN designates its customers as importers of the products sold on its app or site. That …

  1. MyffyW Silver badge

    I, for one, welcome our virgin-polyester clad overlords.

    .... AS IF. My biggest problem with SHEIN is that it's acting as a low bar by which other clothing manufacturers judge themselves. Take - for example - lingerie. Expensive knicker emporium Anne Summers now churns out much the same sort of tat as SHEIN but because it has their logo stitched into it charges a small fortune. So the consumer thinks "well I might as well buy the cheaper product".

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Very much this. It's contributing heavily to the ongoing shittification of clothing. It's basically impossible to buy decent underwear at a normal price anymore. Even the expensive stuff is comparatively shit. Brands that I used to be able to wear out over literally years, until I wore holes in the fabric, now last me maybe a year before the elastic just disintegrates, if there aren't holes in the fabric before then. Socks are mega expensive if you want something decent made with mostly cotton.

      Edit for afterthought: It should be noted that SHEIN is definitely not the only contributor to this problem, merely the latest bleeding ulcer. Shops like Primark have been pulling this shit for years already and the entire fast-fashion industry needs to die a sudden, violent and bloody death imho. Most clothing articles should last for years of regular wear and washing. But many people today seem to want to wear a new shirt every other day and never wear anything more than maybe twice. Especially women seem to be guilty of this.

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        +Upvote for the phrase "the ongoing shittification of clothing"

        1. John H Woods Silver badge

          Re: "the ongoing shittification of clothing"


      2. rafff

        "...never wear anything more than maybe twice. Especially women seem to be guilty of this."

        That was the model for women's fashion over 60 years ago, when I was in the business*. This is merely the logical extension.

        As an amusing aside, you can probably blame much of this on Gen. Grivas and Archbishop Makarios. When the Enosis troubles started in Cyprus, many Greek Cypriots came to Britain and they displaced the Jews who then dominated the cheap women's fashion manufacture. The Jews moved into men's wear and started Carnaby St as a men's fashion centre. The Cypriots were subsequently displaced by Pakistanis, and now much of the manufacture is in either Pakistan or China, rather than Britain.

        * Yes, the beard is grey.

        1. NeilPost Silver badge

          Re: "...never wear anything more than maybe twice. Especially women seem to be guilty of this."

          Plus Turkey, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India, Burma, Sri Lanka.

          I’m sure if they could get away with it North Korea too.

      3. skeptical i

        cheap plastic shittification

        If Sheit's clothes were made of cheap cotton, wool, or fabrics that could be tossed onto a compost pile (or will bio-degrade in a landfill) it would not be as big a problem, but cheap plastic (polyester, nylon, whatever) fabric only breaks down into smaller bits of plastic and causes a whole 'nother raft of problems. "Your cheap Sheit kills [marine critter of the month]" might raise some awareness, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Adam Minter's _Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale_ covers fast fashion and its [almost entirely negative] impacts, if anyone is interested; review at --

      4. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        never wear anything more than maybe twice

        Last time I bought any clothes was last Amazon Black Friday (Levi jeans 70% off RRP - I won't pay their usual extortionate prices). The majority of my clothes are at least 5 years old and I've got some that date back to pre-marriage (more than 30 years ago and mostly gig t-shirts tht can cope with the changes in size that 30+ years bring..)

        My wife has a very similar attitude. Buy decent clothes for a decent price and they'll last ages if you look after them.

        But then neither of us are fashion-obsessed or trend-followers.

  2. Duncan Macdonald

    Typical Americans

    US firms hate successful competitors - especially from other countries.

    I would be willing to bet that most of the firms behind Shut Down SHEIN also get their products made in sweatshop factories in places with very little regulation.

    A more accurate complaint from Shut Down SHEIN would be "this foreign company is beating us at our own game so politicians please destroy it".

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: Typical Americans

      So, business as usual, right? If you can't beat them, shut them down. With extreme prejudice, if possible.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Typical Americans

      Did you miss the whole "tax evasion", "skirting safety and human rights regulations", and "it's cheaper to ship from China than domestically"?

      And it's not just Americans that dislike foreign businesses exploiting an uneven playing field: Kenyan business owners have been out protesting in the streets over what is essentially China subsidising Chinese-owned businesses operating overseas.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Typical Americans

        Did you miss the whole "tax evasion", "skirting safety and human rights regulations", and "it's cheaper to ship from China than domestically"?

        So, Apple?

      2. NeilPost Silver badge

        Re: Typical Americans

        That’s all masking the carbon footprint of shipping **individual orders** to Consumer’s around the world **from fucking China** (yes exploiting the UPU loopholes).

  3. IGotOut Silver badge

    Fuck Me!

    "keeps its prices low by exploiting a loophole to avoid paying taxes."

    Bit rich coming from the land of tax avoidance.

    Remind me how much Google and Starbucks and Apple and Microsoft and...and... paid in UK taxes?

    1. Binraider Silver badge

      Re: Fuck Me!

      It's OK if UK/Euro/USian companies exploit loopholes. But not exporters, oh-no...

      A crackdown on anything being imported produced by slave labour would cause headaches for a lot of clothing retailers, and especially the more common and chavvy sportswear outfits.

      I wouldn't be averse to it, but the cheltenham averages would have nothing to wear and that's a sight I'd rather not have to endure. It was bad enough up in Newcastle with topless footy fans of the beer-bellied variety. Though much respect to them still doing it in the middle of winter.

      How many other groups can I safely offend with this post. I'll stop there before I go any further into a big pile of poo!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fuck Me!

      They pay their taxes to the federal government, not to the states. Oh, wait...

  4. Diogenes8080


    If your web defences are up for it, Windows browsers look for encrypted traffic to (Alibaba DE, for rightpondian users) that seems to occur from Shein web sessions. I'm talking custom encryption, not just SSL.

    The last time I saw anything like that, it was Google Chrome telegraphing home to the Chocolate Factory. Other browsers didn't do that, even when conducting exactly the same searches.

  5. Enn Dee

    Utter junk

    My daughter suggested I buy some stuff from there a couple of years ago. It was cheap as chips so I ordered a few shirts and some shorts.

    It came, and was just utter junk. It went straight in the bin. Won't be a big loss to the world if it's closed down.

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