E-commerce platform Shein will come under tighter EU surveillance over the products available on its online site. 

The European Commission announced today (26 April) that it had classified Shein as a very large online platform (VLOP) under its Digital Services Act (DSA). 

The DSA and Digital Markets Act are intended to create an equal and fair market for online businesses. 

Under the DSA, VLOPs are platforms or sites with more than 45 million EU users per month. 

Due to its classification as a VLOP, Shein will come under tighter scrutiny to remove illegal products that are listed on its online e-commerce platform. 

Shein will be expected to provide the European Commission with risk assessment reports every four months. 

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This will include evidence that Shein has put in place preventive measures against counterfeited products or goods that infringe intellectual property from being sold on its platform. 

Shein will also be asked to consider protecting its younger users from purchasing unsafe products using its platform. 

The European Commission stated that this would include creating proper age verification systems for age-restricted items. 

Shein will also need to provide the European Commission with transparency reports alongside its risk assessments. These reports will be required to show its content moderation decisions and the traceability of the site’s traders. 

Other companies such as ByteDance, X and Booking.com have also been labelled for VLOP status by the European Commission.

In its 2023 thematic intelligence report into e-commerce, research and analysis company GlobalData forecast that the total e-commerce market could be worth more than $9trn by 2030.