- Shein conquers world market with cheap clothes
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- Heiko Maas wants more transatlantic cooperation
- USA seeks free trade with Taiwan
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- Portrait: Matthias Claussen from C. Melchers
The name Shein is probably unknown to a large part of the population, while the brand is a big hit among younger people: as a particularly low-priced fashion provider, the company is asserting itself worldwide in a market that H&M, Primark, Zara, and Uniqlo had actually long since divided up among themselves. The secret lies in the digital sales model. The Chinese company simply masters the use of AI better than its competitors, writes Frank Sieren. The working conditions under which T-shirts are made for 1.99 euros? No one knows. Shein is known for its lack of transparency.
The Communist Party’s Labor Front also prefers to operate in secret. Its task is to promote Chinese positions abroad and to sow doubt about the statements of critics . Marcel Grzanna describes the work of the secretive organization in our series on the centennial of the CP. He warns that it is also gaining influence in Germany and Europe.
The US is visibly backing Taiwan. Secretary of State Blinken has now announced talks on free trade with the island ahead of the G7 summit later this week, stressing that it must be able to defend itself. This debunks the fiction that the two countries have no diplomatic relations. Beijing reacted accordingly with an outcry – just as expected from the China-critical Biden administration.
Shein, the mysterious Fashion Giant
Market observers are already talking about the “Tiktok of e-commerce”. Yet the global triumph of the Chinese fashion platform Shein went almost unnoticed by many. Among female teenagers, however, the app has long been the first choice when it comes to buying inexpensive and trendy clothes online.
In May Shein overtook Amazon as the most-installed shopping app in the US for the first time. According to data from app tracking companies App Annie and Sensor Tower, Shein already ranked first among the most downloaded apps in Apple’s app store in 54 countries in mid-May. On the competing Android platform, that was still the case in 13 countries.
Shein sells mainly women’s fashion, which is usually priced between five and 20 US dollars per garment. These prices are possible because the company benefits from the fast and inexpensive textile industry in China and Southeast Asia. And even in the world of fast fashion, the platform sets new speed standards: while Inditex, the world’s largest fashion group from Spain and owner of Zara, brings new clothing lines from the drawing board to the shelves within three weeks, according to its suppliers, Shein can do this in just five to seven days.