Shein’s Popularity Soars, E.U. Clamps Down on Online Content

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In a significant development, fast-fashion behemoth Shein, of Chinese origin, finds itself thrust into the spotlight of stringent EU online content regulations as its user numbers breach a crucial threshold, the European Commission announced on Friday.

With its monthly active users in the EU soaring to a staggering 108 million, Shein now falls under the category of very large online platforms (VLOP) as per the Digital Services Act (DSA), alongside numerous other tech giants already subject to these regulations.

Under the DSA framework, VLOPs with over 45 million users are mandated to take robust measures to combat illegal and harmful content, as well as counterfeit products, present on their platforms.

The EU Commission emphasized that Shein will be required to adhere to the most rigorous standards outlined in the DSA within four months of notification, effectively by the end of August 2024.

Fast-Fashion Giant Faces Tougher Oversight Amid Meteoric User Growth

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These obligations entail implementing specific measures aimed at empowering and safeguarding users online, particularly minors, while also evaluating and mitigating systemic risks associated with their services.

In response to the designation as a VLOP, Shein expressed its commitment to compliance with the regulatory requirements, echoing the Commission’s goal of fostering a secure online shopping environment for consumers in the EU.

Leonard Lin, Shein’s global head of public affairs, affirmed the company’s dedication to playing its part in ensuring consumer protection and online safety. Shein, which has set its sights on a U.S. initial public offering, expanded its marketplace into the EU in August of the previous year.

Shein Falls Under Tough EU Online Content Rules As User Numbers Jump

The enforcement of the DSA, applicable to all online platforms since February 17, reflects the EU’s proactive stance in regulating digital spaces to safeguard user interests and combat illicit online activities.

Alongside Shein, a roster of sixteen tech firms, including industry giants like Amazon, Apple, Alibaba, and Microsoft, are already subject to DSA provisions.

Shopping Cart With Gifts Having Shein Logo

Additionally, the EU is actively investigating social media platform X and ByteDance’s TikTok for compliance with these regulations, with potential violations carrying fines of up to 6% of a company’s global turnover.

As Shein leads the regulatory scenario and strives to meet the stringent DSA requirements, the broader tech industry remains under close scrutiny, signaling a concerted effort by the EU to uphold online integrity and consumer protection in the digital age.

Mousumi Routray is experienced content writer who helps businesses reach their audience through engaging content. She has written blog posts, articles, newsletters and more for companies in tech, entertainment and other industries.