Shein, the Chinese-origin online retailer, has quietly filed documents for an initial public offering (IPO) in London, according to anonymous sources cited by Reuters. Although the IPO has been anticipated for some time, an official announcement has yet to be made. Bloomberg reported earlier this month that Shein, which is officially headquartered in Singapore, could be valued at approximately £50 billion with this public offering.

The move to list in London is significant for both Shein and the London Stock Exchange (LSE). For Shein, the IPO represents a major milestone in its rapid growth trajectory, potentially providing substantial capital to further expand its global operations. The company’s valuation, estimated at £50 billion, underscores its position as a leading player in the fast-fashion e-commerce sector, competing with giants like Zara and H&M.

For London, the IPO is a much-needed boost. The LSE has struggled to attract high-profile listings in recent years, with a notable number of companies choosing to list in New York instead. This trend has resulted in a decline in the market value of the London Stock Exchange. The listing of a major company like Shein could help reverse this trend, bringing significant trading activity and investor interest back to London.

The timing of Shein’s IPO also aligns with broader market dynamics. Despite global economic uncertainties, there has been a resurgence in IPO activity, particularly in Europe. However, London has been largely bypassed in this wave of new listings. Securing Shein’s IPO could signal a turnaround for the LSE, demonstrating its ability to attract high-growth, international companies.

Shein’s choice of London for its IPO is also notable given the regulatory and market challenges in its home country. By listing outside of China, Shein may be seeking to mitigate some of the risks associated with the increasingly stringent regulatory environment for Chinese companies. Additionally, London offers a stable and mature financial market, which could provide a favorable environment for Shein’s continued growth.