Wednesday 3 July 2019

Shein shuts down partially amid customs crackdown

Shein shuts down partially amid customs crackdownNew Delhi: Top Chinese ecommerce platform Shein has shut down partially and is refunding money to consumers following a crackdown by Mumbai Customs and backlash on Chinese online retail in India that has become popular with Indian buyers.

“Major items on is imported in bulk and then dispatched. Due to customs clearance issue for import, there is no certain release date till now. To protect your interest we will cancel the order ….. & arrange refund at the earliest,” read a message to a customer after the order was cancelled.

Shein’s mobile app and website prominently displayed a message requesting customers to “hold back.” “We are upgrading our systems for newer experience, with fresh looks and exciting offers. Request you to hold back for some time while (you) watch this space for more,” the message reads.

Earlier this month, Mumbai Customs seized about 500 parcels of Sino India Etail, the official Indian seller for Chinese apparel and lifestyle e-tailer Shein, and sealed a company warehouse in the city after officials found it undervaluing and wrongly declaring goods.

The seizure is part of a crackdown on Chinese ecommerce imports into India by the Mumbai courier terminal against around a dozen companies for allegedly paying much lower customs duties.

Apart from Sino India Etail, a smaller number of parcels of Globemax CommerceIndia, the local unit of another Chinese e-tailer Club Factory, have also been seized.

An email sent to Shein India and Club Factory remained unanswered.

“While Shein’s operations have been majorly affected due to bulk imports, other players such as Club Factory have already reduced their dependence on their own imports and instead attempting a marketplace model,” said a person aware of the development.

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