Reliance To Reintroduce Chinese Brand Shein To India Four Years After Ban

India might have banned Chinese apps after the Galwan incident, but they’re slowly making their way back to the country through alternate routes.

Reliance is set to relaunch Chinese fast fashion brand Shein into the country, ET reports. Reliance will sell Shein products on Reliance Retail apps as well as physical stores. Four years ago, Shein had been one of the apps that had been blocked by the Indian government after the skirmish in Galwan, in which 20 Indian soldiers had lost their lives. Earlier PUBG, another one of the banned Chinese apps, had made a re-entry into India as Battlegrounds Mobile India.

In its second avatar, Shein’s operations will be run by a company entirely owned by Reliance Retail. Shein will not own any equity in the entity, but will be paid a license fee from a share of the company’s profits. Through the arrangement, Shein will reduce its dependence on China, and also step up its sourcing for clothes from India.

Shein was founded in China in 2008. It became known for selling inexpensive clothes, or fast fashion, and quickly garnered a fan following among young consumers. By 2012, Shein had set up its own factories, and begun owning all parts of the clothing value chain. By 2022, Shein had become the world’s largest fashion retailer. Around the same time, following controversies over the use of poorly paid labour in its factories, Shein had moved its headquarters to Singapore.

Shein will be another addition to Reliance’s already expansive portfolio of international fashion brands. Reliance already licenses brands including Burberry, Jimmo Choo, Armani, Diesel, Boss, Kate Spade, Steve Madden, Gap and others in India, and it also owns stakes in brands including Manish Malhotra and Ritu Kumar. Shein will fit in nicely amid this international lineup, and will cater to fashion-conscious young consumers in the country. Shein had been sorely missed by Indian users ever since it was stopped from serving the country in 2020, and its comeback could create some buzz in the markets where it was already popular.